Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

about us





Animal study: carnosine slows down tumour growth

Carnosine, the dipeptide that the body synthesises from beta-alanine, not only helps muscles cells work harder. Researchers at the University of Leipzig discovered that carnosine also inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

In 2008 the Germans published the results of a study in which cells from a human glioblastoma a form of brain tumour that is almost impossible to treat grew less fast when they were exposed to carnosine. [Int J Pept Res Ther 2008, 14:127-135.] This miniscule protein sabotages the cancer cells' energy provision, and reduces the conversion of carbohydrates into the energy molecule ATP. [Neurol Res. 2010 Feb; 32(1): 101-5.] Glucose is cancer cells' preferred source of fuel.

Of course, a substance that reduces cancer cell activity in a test tube might not actually work in real life. To approximate a human flesh and blood scenario the researchers did an experiment with mice. The Germans injected the mice with cancer cells that cause increased synthesis of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2/neu], a protein.

Tumours need blood to grow. Many extra dangerous cancer cells secrete raised concentrations of HER2/neu. This protein forces the body to create new blood vessels so that the tumour is provided with extra blood.

Half of the mice were given an injection nearly every day of a regular salt solution, directly into their gut. This was the control group. The other half were given a carnosine injection a similar number of times. To be more precise: the mice were given a peritoneal injection containing 500 microlitre fluid with 1 mol carnosine, 6 times a week.

In the control group the tumours started to grow after 14 days; in the carnosine group growth didn't start until the 19th day. On day 24, at the end of the treatment period, the tumours in the carnosine mice were about thirty percent smaller than in the control group.

Animal study: carnosine slows down tumour growth

Animal study: carnosine slows down tumour growth

When the researchers examined the tumour cells under the microscope, they saw that the carnosine had reduced the cell division. In test tubes they also noticed that the cancer cells produced less ATP.

"Carnosine should be considered as a potential anticancer agent, especially since it is a naturally occurring substance", the researchers write. "It is now very important to analyse how carnosine inhibits proliferation and whether it may be a useful drug for anticancer therapy in humans."

Mol Cancer. 2010 Jan 6;9:2.

Gallic acid is the anti-cancer agent in Grape Seed Extract 12.11.2011
Grape Seed Extract protects against prostate cancer 11.11.2011
Grape Seed Extract protects against skin cancer 29.10.2011