Zinc-L-carnosine combines the mineral zinc and the amino acid carnosine, which is thought to work by supporting the lining of our stomach.*
Zinc-L-carnosine (ZnC) is a supplement that has recently gained popularity due to its potential gut health properties. Additionally, Zinc-L-carnosine has been shown to promote the healing of the stomach lining and mucosal defenses (study) and might reduce inflammation in specific conditions (study).* You can usually find the combination of zinc and carnosine in capsules or powder supplements.
What is zinc?
Zinc is a mineral that is found in food. It is important for growth and development, immune function, reproductive health, and wound healing. Zinc is also involved in many biochemical processes in the body.
Zinc is found in a variety of foods, including meat, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, and whole grains. The best way to get enough zinc is to eat a variety of zinc-rich foods every day.
Carnosine is a dipeptide consisting of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine. It is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue, where it is believed to play a role in preventing muscle fatigue, resistance, high-intensity training, and anaerobic exercises (study).* Carnosine is also thought to have antioxidant and healthy aging properties (study).*
Zinc carnosine is thought to support gut health by helping the gut lining in certain populations (study). It may also help with weight management by affecting glucose metabolism and appetite for certain individuals (study).*
There is some scientific evidence to support the use of zinc carnosine for these purposes, but more research is needed.
The Benefits of Zinc-L-carnosine
As described above, current research may indicate that Zinc-L-carnosine might potentially have the following benefits in certain populations:
One of the most studied benefits of Zinc-L-carnosine is its antioxidant activity (study). Antioxidants are important because they help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, leading to inflammation. Inflammation is a process that the body uses to heal itself, but chronic inflammation may lead to some conditions, including an effect on heart health or arthritis.*
One study found that Zinc-L-carnosine (Znc) was able to scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in cells (study). *
Another study showed that Zinc-L-carnosine was more effective than other antioxidants at reducing cell damages caused by oxidative stress (study). These studies suggest that Zinc-L-carnosine may help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of conditions related to oxidative stress and inflammation in certain populations.*
Immune system support
Another study looked at the effect of Zinc-L-carnosine on people with the common cold (study). The study found that some people who took this supplement might have recovered from their colds faster than those who did not take the specific supplement that was administered during the trial*. These studies might suggest that Zinc-L-carnosine may help shorten the duration of cold symptoms and recovery time.
Zinc-L-carnosine has also been studied for its potential effects on gastrointestinal health. For example, one study looked at the effect of this supplement on stomach ulcers (study). The study found that people who took Zinc-L-carnosine might have experienced a reduction in ulcer size compared to those who did not take the particular supplement used in that specific study.
Another study looked at the effect of Zinc-L-carnosine on GERD, a condition characterized by reflux and heartburn (study). The study found that people who took the supplement used during the research could experience a reduction in symptoms compared to those who did not take it. These studies suggest that Zinc-L-carnosine may help reduce stomach ulcers and GERD symptoms.*
Please remember that all mentioned studies often research specific populations with unique program regimens and different ingredients, which might not be the same as the one you intend to use.
The gut microbiome
The gut microbiome is thought to play a role in various chronic conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, maintaining a healthy gut is important for overall health.
Today, there is also a growing interest around probiotics, prebiotics, and their role on the gut microbiome. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that act as food for probiotics and are found in various fruits, vegetables, and grains. Zinc-L-carnosine (ZnC) appears to have both probiotic and prebiotic properties, making it a promising supplement for gut health.
Zinc-L-carnosine is a supplement that has potential benefits, including on oxidative stress, supporting cells from damage, supporting the immune system function, and gastrointestinal health.* It differs from zinc gluconate and zinc picolinate.
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a zinc-l-carnosine supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.