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Study points to zinc carnosine's role in gut health

By Clarisse Douaud , 26-Feb-2007

Zinc carnosine could protect the gastrointestinal system according to a study conducted in the United Kingdom.

Researchers sought to examine the potential for this ingredient, which is marketed for gastric health, for gut repair. The study, published in the current issue of Gut journal, was performed at Barts in London and the Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry. The study found zinc carnosine has biological activity in the gut. "Importantly, these effects were seen at concentrations likely to be found in participants taking the product as a health food supplement," says the study. The research included in vitro studies using pro-migratory and proliferation assays of human colonic, rat intestinal epithelial and canine kidney epithelial cells. The clinical trial involved ten healthy volunteers who participated in randomized crossover trials comparing changes in gut permeability prior to, and following, five days of indomethacin treatment with zinc carnosine or placebo coadministration. Participants were given 50mg of indomethacin three times daily and 37.5mg of zinc carnosine twice daily. "Our find that (in the placebo arm) five days of treatment with indomethacin caused a threefold rise in gut permeability is in keeping with previous results of ours and of other groups," wrote the researchers. "By contrast, when participants also received ZnC, this prevented the rise in permeability caused by indomethacin, strongly suggesting a small-intestinal protective effect." The zinc carnosine was found to stabilize gut mucosa. According to the study, the compound stimulated an approximately threefold migration and proliferation of cells in a dose-dependent manner. Oral supplementation was also found to decrease gastric and small intestinal injury. Reference: Gut 2007;56:168-175. Title: "Zinc carnosine, a health food supplement that stabilizes small bowel integrity and stimulates gut repair processes." Authors: Mahmood, A et al.

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