The Potential of Carnosine Supplementation in Optimising Cardiometabolic Health

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • End date
    Jul 15, 2023
  • participants needed
    40
  • sponsor
    Monash University
Updated on 15 July 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers

Summary

The investigators hypothesise that carnosine supplementation will improve:

  1. glycaemic control
  2. cardiovascular risk factors
  3. cognitive outcomes

in patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and this will be modulated by reduction in chronic low grade inflammation, oxidative stress and circulating advanced glycation end products levels.

3. Aims

To determine the potential of carnosine supplementation for 14 weeks to improve glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes, reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cognitive function as well as identify metabolic pathways involved, specifically by:

  1. Improving glycaemic control (HBA1c, fasting and 2 hour glucose and glucose area under the curve after oral glucose tolerance test)
  2. Reducing cardiovascular risk factors (lipids; arterial (aortic) stiffness; central blood pressure (cBP); endothelial function).
  3. Improve cognitive function (global cognitive score formed by a composite of 4 cognitive tests)
  4. Decrease the chronic low grade inflammation, oxidative stress, advanced glycation end products, and advanced lipoxidation end products, and increase detoxification of reactive carbonyl species (RCSs).

Description

Type 2 diabetes is a major public health problem worldwide. Obesity itself markedly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes (DM2), which now affects every second obese person. With 60% of adult Australians overweight or obese and 25% of Australians aged over 25 years having prediabetes or diabetes, the quality-of-life and cost impact is inescapable. In Australia, direct healthcare costs for DM2 are currently estimated as $1.1 billion annually, with the prospect of doubling by 2025. Obesity and DM2 dramatically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with ~80% of individuals with both obesity and DM2 develop CVD. The annual healthcare costs for CVD in Australia now amount to $7.7 billion; and the total aggregated costs, including loss of income, are much higher again. Treating DM2 and CVD is expensive and often unsatisfactory. Weight loss and exercise are the mainstay of prevention and therapy but they are difficult and costly to achieve on a large scale; hence the DM2 epidemic continues unabated. Therefore, interventions at low cost and easy to implement at the population level is urgently required.

Neurodegenerative diseases often occurs in people with DM2, and DM2 is in turn associated with increased risk of cognitive decline. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are also associated with metabolic impairment. They share many common pathogenic features with DM2 such as insulin resistance, chronic low-grade inflammation, vascular disease, oxidative stress and accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). Progression of these diseases over years-decades is also worsened by a sedentary life-style. Therefore not surprisingly, regular physical activity is beneficial in those patients, likely due to improvement of neurological, motor and cardiometabolic profile. However, it is difficult and costly to achieve on a large scale, and thus, safe and low-cost strategies are needed.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased amounts of ectopic fat depots in muscle including intramyocellular lipids (IMCL), and adipocytes located between muscle groups (inter-muscular) and also between muscle fascicles (intramuscular). Both IMCL and intra- and inter-muscular adipose tissue (IMAT) may deleteriously effect muscle metabolism and insulin sensitivity through increased local secretion of pro-inflammatory adipokines, and inter-muscular fat may additionally impair insulin action through reductions in blood flow to muscle.

Could carnosine be that strategy? Strong molecular and animal data (>2000 papers) suggests that it has great potential, with all the relevant properties. Carnosine, is present in several tissues including muscle and brain, easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, and extensive animal data show that carnosine has chelating properties and modulates glucose metabolism, advanced glycation, pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative states, as well as motor functions and neurotransmission. A promising further use may derive from its effect on cardiometabolic health and neuroprotection. Current research, confined to animal studies, supports carnosine supple¬ment¬ation for preventing and treating obesity, DM2, CVD, and neurodegenerative diseases - by virtue of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anti-glycating and chelating effects. Our team's novel pilot studies provide the first human cross-sectional and interventional metabolic data, and demonstrate relationships among carnosine, obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidaemia. Previous clinical trials also showed that supplementation of carnosine for 2-3 months improved cognitive performance in healthy individuals and patients with neurodegenerative diseases. However, none of them showed its effect in patient with type 2 diabetes and explored the effects of change in cardiometabolic outcomes on cognitive function.

Apart from its excellent side-effect profile, carnosine is cheap and safe (it is an over-the-counter dietary supplement), making it prima facie ideal for widespread, low cost use. Robust human research is now urgently needed to test the therapeutic potential of carnosine in improving cardiometabolic profile and cognitive function, and study the mechanisms involved.

Details
Condition Poor Glycemic Control, Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Cognitive Function 1, Social
Treatment Placebo, carnosine
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02917928
SponsorMonash University
Last Modified on15 July 2022

Eligibility

Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age >=18 or <=70 years
Weight change < 5 kg in last 6 months
HbA1c level <= 8%
Patients with prediabetes (Impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glycaemia) or type 2 diabetes (diet controlled or on oral therapy)
Patients will have to be on oral therapy for diabetes (without changes in treatment) at least for 3 months
Patients will be advised not to change their pre-existing therapy for diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors for the duration of the study if HbA1c is not above 8%
No recent blood transfusion (3 months)
No current intake of anti-inflammatory medications and supplements
No significant kidney, cardiovascular, haematological, respiratory, gastrointestinal, or central nervous system disease, as well as no psychiatric disorders, no active cancer within the last five years; no presence of acute inflammation (by history, physical or laboratory examination)
Pregnant or lactating

Exclusion Criteria

Age <18 or > 70 years
HbA1c level of >= 8%
Weight change > 5 kg in last 6 months
Morbid obesity (body mass index >40 kg/m2)
Current smoking habit and high alcohol use
Patients on insulin
Taking anti-inflammatory medications or supplements
Recent blood transfusion history
Kidney (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 30 ml/min), cardiovascular, haematological, respiratory, gastrointestinal, or central nervous system disease, as well as psychiatric disorder, active cancer within the last five years; presence of acute inflammation (by history, physical or laboratory examination)
Pregnancy or lactation
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