Zinc carnosine – helps gastric ulcers, IBS and is anti-osteoporosis.

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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 Benign gastric ulcerthat 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.

In conclusion.

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.

  1. Most of the following information is based on the book PDR for nutritional supplements, 2008 by Sheldon Saul Hendler []
  2. 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. []
  3. 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. []
  4. 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 []
  5. Hypochlorous acid is a less acidic version of hydrochloric acid.  It and monochloramine are forms of bleach. []
  6. 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 []
  7. 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 []
  8. 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 []
  9. NASH – non-alcoholic steohepatitis []

20 Responses to “Zinc carnosine – helps gastric ulcers, IBS and is anti-osteoporosis.”

  1. Mary Beth 2013-05-17

    Should other zinc consumption stop when taking this product? I am very low in zinc per a zinc tally test and am taking 69 mg per day of liquid zinc sulfate.

    • Clare Harding 2013-05-17

      If you are taking the Zinc Tally, then there is no need to stop taking it whilst taking Zinc Carnosine. When the Zinc Tally tastes awful, then you know that your zinc levels have recovered. As stated in the blog, Zinc Carnosine coats the villi in the stomach, so helps them heal and so has a different action to a supplement aimed at raising overall zinc levels.

  2. Natalya 2013-08-20


    Thank you for your post. Could you be as kind as to clarify: should I take Zinc Carnosine with or without food? It is not stated on the label, just that I should take it twice a day.

    Also, I have been using Swanson brand, because it is so much cheaper than the others (under $15). My preferred brands are Multigenics and Pure encapsulations – but those cost almost $50. Do you know if there is any reason to go with the more expensive brand?

    Thank you very much in advance, Natalya

    • Clare Harding 2013-08-21

      Hi, Natalya. Zinc carnosine should be chewed half an hour before eating so it gets a chance to line the villi. Generally cheaper supplements are not worth the money. Look at the quantities of zinc in the cheap brand. It will be cheap for a reason. Multigenics and Pure Encapsulations are good brands, so worth the money. The Poliquin brand that I sell contains 17mg zinc and 75 mg zinc carnosine, along with microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid and silica. That too retails at $48.50 in the States. Not cheap, but zinc carnosine is an excellent product for healing the guts, so its good to persevere with the expense for a few months, then see if you can tolerate HCl in your new, improved tummy.

  3. simona 2013-10-18

    Hi Clare,
    I’m struggling to find multigenics, pure encapsulation or poliquin brands in UK.. would i get the same results if i’d get a cheaper brand, but will take 4capsules a day instead? Each capsule has 8mg of zinc, 29.5 L-carnosine and 37.5mg of zinc and L-carnoside complex?
    Regards Simona

    • Clare Harding 2013-10-21

      Hi, Simona. I sell Poliquin brand supplements, so you can contact me through this website for more details. Zinc carnosine is not a cheap product, no matter who is selling it. If it is cheap, then the ingredients are either not as good or it is much weaker, so you have to take more and it will therefore still be an expensive supplement. What price good health?

  4. Breezy 2014-04-9

    Could the brand some of you are referring to be METAgenics? It is an excellent brand.

    My question is does it matter which brand we get if we want to chew the tablets? I’ve been swallowing my Metagenics Zinlori 75 whole, but I’m going to start chewing it. I also stopped my other zinc supplement, but it sounds like I should start it again. So zinc carnosine is for healing the gut but won’t help to raise zinc levels on its own? I just want to clarify to be sure I’m understanding.

    Thanks for the article!

    • Clare Harding 2014-04-10

      The brand I’m referring to is the Poliquin brand. Available from me.

      Good to chew the zinc carnosine – grind it up in the mouth into as much of a paste as possible, so it can more easily coat the gut lining. I would also take a high quality zinc supplement too. Zinc carnosine will have some action in improving zinc levels, but a decent zinc chelation such as zinc aspartate and orotate will do a better job. We are all very short of zinc these days.

  5. Jeanne Huerta 2015-07-8

    I have a peptic ulcer and acid reflux. Bin taking anti acids for years with little results.My question is should i stop taking the anti acids, and just take the zinc carnosine? When should i take them and how many a day.How can i order your product?

    • Clare Harding 2015-07-8

      Hi, Jeanne. Anti-acids won’t help poor digestion. In the long term, they can only make it worse. You could read the book: Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You by Jonathan V Wright. You can try cutting out the foods that disagree with you, first culprits being gluten and dairy. It is also important to be relaxed when you eat (goodness, I feel like such a hypocrite writing this. I need tying down to my chair when I eat!) and vital to chew your food very well indeed. Safer to add are digestive enzymes. You could also try drinking a little bitters before a meal. I do stock Zinc Carnosine, now called GI Qwell; it costs £42.16p plus postage. Out of stock at the moment, but if you are still interested, let me know. Clare.

    • Clare Harding 2015-08-25

      It is very unlikely that you will find Zinc Carnosine in your health food store. But you can find it on line. The Poliquin brand is called GI Qwell. It is unlikely that you’ll find pure zinc carnosine; usually it is combined with other gut health restoring ingredients. So the name could be anything! Poliquin used to do pure Zince carnosine, but not any more, sadly. I do stock GI Qwell, but I think you live in the States. There are many Poliquin Biosignature practitioners in the states who can supply it.

  6. Mimi 2015-08-30

    Dear Clare ,

    I have tried zinc carnosine tablets from polliquin. Unfortunately , the only capsules they have are the ones mixed with aloe vera. It made my ulcer worse and it is bleeding now. I wanted to try the pure zinc carnosine but they dont have it . I have also tried metagenics for two months , but I havent seen any improvement. What do you recommend that I try now ?

    • Clare Harding 2015-08-31

      Oh dear, you are in a bit of a mess. It is indeed frustrating that Poliquin have dropped the pure zinc carnosine.

      I presume you have cut foods that irritate your gut out of your diet?

      Have you taken a prolonged course of high quality probiotics? If so, have you tried L glutamine?

      Have you tried adding gelatin to your food or to a hot drink? That can help soothe things and improve how the guts handle food.

  7. Mimi 2015-09-16

    Dear Clare ,

    Thank you for your reply. I am willing to try all the remedies you have mentioned, although , I have a concern about L glutamine . I have read that after it is digested it changes into a substance like MSG in the body. Do you think I should still try it ?

  8. Jessica Garcia 2017-09-23

    Hi…I am really interested in zinc carnosine…I have tried antacids but they don’t really work for me 😔 I’ve been anxious and depressed about it and I really want to give zinc carnosine a try plus I am asthmatic. I just bought zinc carnosine from the brand integrative therapeutics. Zinc 16 mg and carnosine 75 mg do you know if this a good brand. Please help! I would really apreciated. Do I suppose to chew them?

    • Clare Harding 2017-09-23

      Hi Jessica. It’s a good idea to try Zinc-carnosine – much better for you than antacids since they merely mask the problem rather than try to cure it. I don’t know if Integrative Therapeutics is a good brand, but since you now have a bottle, then try it and see. Polquin also sell a Zinc Carnosine product called GI Qwell, which contains zinc carnosine. slippery elm and aloe vera, so it’s a cocktail of stuff that helps calm down and cure sore stomachs. If your product doesn’t work so well, you could try the Poliquin brand, which is very reliable indeed.
      As to whether to chew them or not, you’ll have to look on the bottle for instructions, or, if none, contact Integrative Therapeutics themselves for guidance. The Poliquin brand you used to chew, but now you swallow them whole.
      Gut problems stem from the Insular lobe of the brain, so anything you can do to calm that down will help troubled guts. This means stuff like warming the tummy, wearing dark glasses and/or ear plugs. Also eat slowly and chew your food extremely well: good food well chewed usually tastes better and better, cheap processed food gets more and more ghastly.
      Hope this helps.


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