Dr. Adam Killpartrick, DC CNS
Anyone with a sensitive stomach or GI issues will want to read up on how zinc-carnosine can help improve their gut health.
Zinc-carnosine is a combination of zinc and L-carnosine. The first compound, zinc, is an essential trace element, and an important mineral that’s involved in enzymatic activity and reactions in the body. L-carnosine is a dipeptide compound that’s produced by the body and thought to have antioxidant qualities. It’s found in both muscle and nerve cells. In its synthetic form, zinc-carnosine supports the integrity of the tissue that forms the stomach lining.
It’s been shown to help stabilize small bowel integrity, promote a healthy stomach lining and environment, support the health of gastric cells, maintain a healthy gastrointestinal environment, and relieve occasional gastric discomfort. Over 100 scientific studies, including at least 38 clinical trials, have demonstrated its effectiveness.
Impact on Digestive Function, Gut Health, and the Immune System
For optimal digestive function, the integrity of the gastrointestinal lining’s tissue is crucial. The mucosal layer of tissue that sits on top of that lining and secretes IGA is actually part of the immune system, forming one of the first lines of defense. Zinc-carnosine supports the mucosa and the integrity of that gut tissue. When the tissue is irritated, as with an ulcer, for example, zinc-carnosine has been shown to shoot ulceration pain and alleviate the associated digestive discomfort.
Zinc-carnosine has soothing effects, regenerative effects, and immunological modulation components. It has been used to address a variety of health issues, including:
Support intestinal permeability
Zinc-carnosine has been shown to increase the levels of heat shock proteins associated with longevity genes and the human immune system. Even before humans new what HSPs were, they understood the benefits imparted by heat shock. We traditionally increase these protein groups by sitting in saunas or hot tubs, by taking cold showers or ice baths, and of course, getting your body temperature up through exercise. But recent science has taught us that a healthy gut microbiome and zinc-carnosine supplements increase HSP levels as well.
Because the compound is multifaceted, functional medicine practitioners may recommend zinc-carnosine to patients for help with both upper digestive issues and gut permeability support. They may also pair it with a supplement that supports autoimmunity, like G.I. BENEFITS®, to enhance the immunological capabilities offered by zinc-carnosine.
How Zinc-Carnosine Functions
The combination of zinc and L-Carnosine creates a unique way of delivering zinc to the tissues of the stomach. It has a much higher bioavailability than traditional zinc because the carnosine molecule is chelated, which allows the metal ions from the zinc to bond with the organic molecules in the stomach and upper GI tract.
The high level of chelation allows for advanced stimulation of the mucous membrane (gastric mucosa) to provide pain relief and protection against potentially damaging agents. Not only is Zinc L-Carnosine one of the first upper-digestive-targeted bioactive dietary ingredients to be discovered, but it is also one of the most effectiMinimalve available to this day. Carnosine exists naturally in the human body. Found in the brain, heart, working muscles and numerous other areas, it’s no wonder that it acts as a perfect bridge between the zinc and proper GI tract absorption.
Zinc-Carnosine Has Minimal Side Effects
Side effects of zinc-carnosine are quite rare. In fact, most people don’t experience any at all. Only the most sensitive patients report any adverse side effects, and they are usually limited to mild stomach cramps, indigestion, or nausea that tend to go away after the patient has been taking the compound for a short while. More severe side effects are extremely uncommon but can include a decrease in white blood cell count and anemia.
With little to no side effects for most, the benefits of zinc-carnosine-based supplements are undeniable. Zinc-carnosine supports the integrity of both the mucosal lining and the GI lining tissue; it offers digestive benefits, gut health, and immune system support. As with any supplement, your functional medicine practitioner should incorporate this compound from a holistic approach, taking into consideration other health, diet, and lifestyle factors.