Zinc is a mineral essential to our health, as the blog on zinc went into. What minerals are chelated or bound with when taken in supplemental form has a big effect upon their efficacy and effect on us. Zinc carnosine is zinc bound with L-carnosine, and in this form it has been found to be active against stomach ulcers, both by helping heal the stomach wall and increase the protective mucosal layer; it helps reduce the pain caused by H Pylori; it encourages the mucosa in the colon and seems to help prevent bone breakdown, so helps prevent osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and jawbone degeneration. It also seems it helps the liver recover from fatty liver disease and Hepatis C. Although zinc carnosine was discovered in the 1980s, much research is still in the early days. But the signs are good.1
I sell Zinc Carnosine in the form Poliquin GI Qwell which costs £43.50 for 60 tablets. At 2 a day, this lasts 30 days. The tablets are chewed 30 mins before a meal which coats the intestines to heal and protect them. Alas, Zinc Carnosine is expensive. GI Qwell is extremely effective since it is combined with Aloe Vera and Slippery Elm. As with all Poliquin supplements, they are expensive but extremely effective. So we can spend money on less effective forms and suffer longer or we pay up, look big and get better. Just a choice. To buy GI Qwell from me, contact me through this site. I post them out very fast.
Zinc carnosine heals the lining of the stomach.
It is common for people, particularly women to dislike red meat. All sorts of reasons are given – but the real reason is that they have difficulty digesting it.2 When the lining of the stomach is damaged by, for example, alcohol on an empty stomach, wheat or aspirin, it cannot produce a good quantity of HCl (hydrochloric acid) when we eat. HCl is vital to break down proteins, with red meats requiring more stomach acid than white meats or fish, which again require more stomach acid than a purely vegetarian diet. Frequently this dislike of red meat is the only sign of problems, but sometimes people will also complain of heartburn, sucking down the anti-acids with every meal. A better thing to do is take Zinc Carnosine in chewable form since this sticks to the damaged parts or lesions in the stomach wall.3 The carnosine has to be in L form and not D carnosine, which has been found to be ineffective.
The stomach should be lined with a thick wall of mucus. Stress drastically reduces this mucosal layer, with the body’s assumption that we will be running for our lives. With the reduction of mucus, the stomach cannot produce a great deal of HCl or it will digest itself. So if we eat bread, take an aspirin or drink on a stressed, empty stomach, the lack of protective layer leaves the stomach open to damage. These substances are all hard on the gut lining. Zinc carnosine lines the stomach wall where it works by several ways: it is a strong anti-oxidant itself and also enables the stomach to produce its own special anti-oxidants. It sticks to the lesions in the stomach wall more strongly than just zinc or just L carnosine, enabling healing by stimulating cellular proliferation. It stimulates the mucus that protects the stomach and stabilises the membranes of the cell walls of the stomach4. It inhibits premature cell death and has a good anti-inflammatory action. So it can be seen that zinc carnosine heals the stomach lining by several mechanisms. After a couple of months of high quality supplementation, then supplemental HCl can be introduced and we are back on the road to being able to digest our food properly – and this means getting the nutrition out of it. Bizarrely poor digestion leads to weight gain as the body seeks to get more nutrition in, so leads us to over eating, especially of easily digested foods such as sandwiches, biscuits and crisps.
Zinc carnosine and H Pylori.
If H Pylori has been detected, Zinc carnosine helps here too. H Pylori generates ammonia which reacts with hypochlorous acid5 to produce monochloramine, which is toxic and damages the stomach mucosals cells by damaging the DNA. Zinc Carnosine has a scavenging action against monochloramine, so reduces the damage. It has also been found that taking zinc carnosine along with the standard treatment against H Pylori: 2 antibiotics plus a proton pump inhibitor, improves the outcome of the regimen. And, just as with the stomach damaged by stress and diet, zinc carnosine sticks to the lesions in the stomach wall caused by H Pylori and promotes healing in the same way.
Zinc carnosine and IBS
Zinc carnosine also attaches itself to damaged areas in the colon, again promoting cell proliferation, reducing inflammation and improving the mucosal lining.6
Bones and zinc carnosine.
Bones constantly break down and regenerate, with things called osteoclasts breaking them down and osteoblasts generating new bone. Research is showing that zinc carnosine prevents bone breakdown by acting on the parathyroid hormone stimulated osteoclast cell formation.7 So this helps prevent osteoporosis and also helps rheumatoid arthritis. By the same mechanism it also helps regenerate the jaw bone if we have periodontal disease.8
Zinc carnosine and the liver.
In the blog on choline, I mentioned that good levels of dietary choline were necessary to prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which has the medical name NASH9. Somewhat surprisingly, a glass of wine a day reduces NASH risk by half. Taking zinc carnosine also helps NASH by reducing inflammation and free radical damage to the fat in the liver cells.
Chronic hepatitis C is also helped by zinc carnosine’s antioxidant activity. Also the liver can be subject to a build up of iron in males and post-menopausal women and so it has been found that zinc carnosine helps reduce these levels. However, the scientists doing the research don’t really know the mechanism of the good effect of zinc carnosine upon a hepatitis C infected liver- they just find it works.
Zinc carnosine is a good friend to the intestines generally, to the bones and to the liver. It works well with other healing regimens, making them work better and faster. It is very well tolerated and the chewable version tastes a bit like a Rennies. It has a healing action rather than a suppressing action and this is always the best.
- Most of the following information is based on the book PDR for nutritional supplements, 2008 by Sheldon Saul Hendler [↩]
- Difficulty digesting red meat is usually accompanied by a difficulty digesting fat as well. This is because the level of acidity in the stomach has to lower enough to stimulate the pancreas and liver to produce digestive enzymes for the digestion of fat and carbohydrates. Difficulty digesting fat will present itself by finding oily fish such as mackeral indigestible as well as supplemental fish oils for example. [↩]
- Furuta S, Toyama S, Miwa M, et al. Residence time of polaprezinc (Zinc L-carnosine complex) in the rat stomach and adhesiveness to ulcerous sites. Jpn J Pharmacol. 1995; 67:271-278. [↩]
- Hiraishi H, Sasai T, Oinuma T, Shimada, Sugaya, Terano. Polaprezinc protects gastric mucosal cslls from noxious agents through anti-oxidant properties in vitro. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Vol 13 Issue 2 p 261-369 Feb 1999 [↩]
- Hypochlorous acid is a less acidic version of hydrochloric acid. It and monochloramine are forms of bleach. [↩]
- Mahmood A, FitzGerald AJ, Marchbank T, et al. Zinc carnosine, a health food supplement that stabilizes small bowel integrity and stimulates gut repair processes. Gut. 2007;56(2):168-175 [↩]
- As part of the normal aging process, osteoblast formation slows in both men and women – but women suffer from osteoporosis more than men because we have smaller bones and tend to live longer. Surprisingly not that much is known about the causes of osteoporosis – the drop in sex hormones as we age is part of the picture, but there is more to it than just that [↩]
- Kishi S, Segawa Y, Yamaguchi M. Histomorphological confirmation of the preventive effect of beta-alanyl-L-histidinato zinc on bone loss in ovariectomized rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 1994;17(6):86-865 [↩]
- NASH – non-alcoholic steohepatitis [↩]