Posted by Dr. Ian Bier on Feb 17, 2021 6:31:45 PM
Widely recognized as crucial for immune system function and tissue health, zinc is a cofactor in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.* However, the way it is successfully absorbed and directed throughout the body is another story.
While zinc lozenges and other common delivery methods will more successfully deliver zinc to the bloodstream, chelating zinc with L-Carnosine can boost its potential to arrive at and benefit the gut and gastric lining, support small bowel function, and alleviate occasional gut-related discomforts.*
Zinc L-Carnosine is a chelated compound with both zinc and L-Carnosine. Carnosine is a dipeptide molecule made up of the amino acids histidine and beta-alanine, and chelation functions by attaching compounds (in this case zinc) to different molecules, like amino or organic acids, making them more bioavailable for your body to absorb.
The combination and chelation of zinc and carnosine that results in Zinc L-Carnosine is thought to have superior health benefits compared to either compound taken alone—studies suggest that the combination of zinc and carnosine in a chelated form may be three times more effective.* Carnosine seems to enhance the absorption of zinc due to its solubility and perhaps also because it delivers zinc to the tissues in an extended-release manner.
Research shows Zinc L-Carnosine supports the integrity of both mucosal lining and GI lining tissue, offering digestive benefits, gut health, and immune support.* It is well documented that zinc is highly effective for cellular repair and health.*
For those dealing with an impaired—or leaky—gut lining, Zinc L-Carnosine might be effective at penetrating the gut and supporting gastric cell health and cellular repair.* Because upwards of 70% of the body’s immune system resides in the gut, supporting healthy gut tissues and digestion is also critical for a healthy immune system.*
Aside from its gut health benefits, zinc supports tissue repair from the mouth down to the colon.* Zinc inadequacies have been associated with increased risk of microbial colonization, impaired cell repair, and lowered immune function.*
Zinc L-Carnosine works as a delivery system to better direct zinc to the tissues and areas of the body that most need it.*
Both zinc and L-Carnosine can be obtained from dietary sources, but the body isn’t able to mimic ideal levels via supplementation by combining high-zinc foods with L-carnosine. However, supporting and maintaining healthy levels with whole foods is certainly helpful.
Zinc can be found in raw oysters and shellfish, pumpkin seeds, meat, eggs, cheese, legumes, and tofu. In both children and adults with a diet history of zinc-rich foods and healthy gut function, zinc status is often normal. However, common culprits like stress, a diet of packaged and processed foods, ulcers, and other gut offenders make zinc inadequacy increasingly prevalent.
L-Carnosine is a dipeptide and chelator of metal ions, and is naturally found in muscle and nerve cells. You can obtain this compound in small amounts by eating meat, fish and poultry.
Researchers suspect that Zinc L-Carnosine in a chelated form remains in the gastric juices for longer without being destroyed, potentially offering more time to provide its tissue-supporting effects—just one difference between eating foods high in zinc and carnosine versus supplementing with them.*
It is best to take Zinc L-Carnosine on a full stomach to prevent nausea. With any sort of zinc supplementation, nausea can occur. Taking with food and in divided doses as discussed with your provider can help.
Through a whole foods diet, stress management and proper supplementation, you can take key steps in supporting gut and overall health.*
Zinc is often an important trace mineral to include in a supplementation protocol for intestinal lining strength, cellular repair, and digestive and immune support.* Taking a chelated form with carnosine can help to ensure the zinc will be directed to where it’s most needed.
 Hewlings, S., & Kalman, D. (2020). A Review of Zinc-L-Carnosine and Its Positive Effects on Oral Mucositis, Taste Disorders, and Gastrointestinal Disorders. Nutrients, 12(3), 665. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030665
 Wu, H. J., & Wu, E. (2012). The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut microbes, 3(1), 4–14. https://doi.org/10.4161/gmic.19320
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