Alternative Medicine Brain Health Foods & Health

Remove the “Glue” Clogging Up Your Brain And Body

Glycation is more deadly than health damaging free radicals. Learn where it comes from and how to stop it…

There’s a hidden invader clogging up your brain and body.

This obscure adversary affects practically every cell. It is behind a wide variety of health problems including aging. It contributes to everything from joint pain, brain fog & fatigue to diabetes & heart disease.

The scariest part of this covert source of disease is that most of us invite it in without even knowing it.

The name of this stealthy saboteur? Glycation.

Some people think glycation is even more dangerous to your health than free radicals. That makes it essential to understand it and even more importantly to know how to combat and prevent it in the first place.

Although glycation is a somewhat complex chemical process, you don’t need to know biochemistry to understand it. There’s a simple way to grasp how it works in the body.

Glycation happens when sugar in the body attaches itself to protein molecules. When this happens, the combined protein/sugar molecule becomes very “sticky” like glue. It’s similar to what happens when you heat milk for a long time – it cooks down into caramel. In fact, glycation happens through a process called caramelization!

How Glycation Damages Your Body

Once formed, these sticky protein/sugar globs circulate around in the body. Along the way they attach to other proteins in a process called “cross linking.” Such cross linked molecules are called an Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).

AGEs are like blobs of super glue traveling through the body causing mischief.

Here’s a short list of the damage AGEs to do the body:

  • They block the ability of cells to function normally (imagine glue between cells)
  • As the cells try to fight off this sticky assault, they create toxins that circulate around the body
  • AGEs stimulate amyloid beta formation in the brain. Amyloid beta is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia
  • AGEs cause the body to create higher levels of damaging oxidative free radicals
  • These higher levels of free radicals set off more glycation, leading to an endless cycle of cell and tissue damage
  • AGEs increase the thickness of arterial walls, increasing the likelihood of heart disease
  • And to add insult to injury, they cause your skin to wrinkle, making you look older while they cause you to feel older.

Stopping Glycation In Its Tracks

There are simple things you can do to stop, and even reverse the health-damaging effects of glycation.

The first is, of course, to stop creating more AGEs. This is actually fairly simple. All you need to do is stop eating sugar and refined carbohydrates. This dramatically reduces one of the crucial building blocks of glycation.

Secondly, it’s important to neutralize the “glue” blobs already circulating around in your system.

A lot of research has been done searching for ways to accomplish this second step. So far, only one substance has been found that effectively neutralizes glycation and the formation of AGEs. That substance is called Carnosine.

Carnosine neutralizes AGEs in two ways. It stops simple sugars from binding to proteins in the first place. In addition, it stops sticky glycation blobs from cross linking with other proteins.

These two actions of Carnosine are not found in any other supplement. 

Two notes about Carnosine:

  1. Don’t confuse it with L-Carnitine, which is a valuable amino acid that increases cell energy and helps build muscle & decrease fat. Both are valuable but only Carnosine has the effect of neutralizing Advance Glycation End-products.
  2. When taking Carnosine as a supplement, take between 50 and 150 mg per day. It’s best taken with other nutrients at meals.


Hyperhealth Pro Database, In-Tele-Health, Hansville, WA, 2008.

Wikipedia Article on Carnosine

Healthier Talk Article on Glycation

4 replies on “Remove the “Glue” Clogging Up Your Brain And Body”

Don’t overlook the connection between glycation and diabetes; it is because of very high levels of glycation that diabetic complications set in — which is why it is so important to monitor one’s blood sugar. Many diabetics, myself included, are aware of the connection between glycation or high blood sugar and the consumption of refined carbohydrates; refined carbs have even been singled out as the biggest single contributor to type II diabetes and obesity. Also, Metformin and other anti-diabetic medicines are way over-prescribed, and because I had pancreatitis due to gallstones, I stopped taking Metformin, which can be contra-indicated in the presence of pancreatitis, and I now rely on insulin as my only medication.

However, by getting on a diet that is free of refined carbs and artificial sweeteners, which have toxic side effects of their own, and getting some regular moderatate exercise, I have been able to significantly reduce the amount of insulin I need, though I’m still keeping my blood sugar under very good control. As a side benefit, I do find that I have more energy to get thing done! While this is the first that I’ve heard of carnosine, I firmly believe that no medication or supplement to treat glycation or blood sugar problems is going to be fully effective unless all refined carbs are removed from the diet !!!

Hi David,

You make a great point regarding the connection between glycation & diabetes. Any time blood sugar regulation is compromised, glycation is a real threat. I suspect that it’s a major factor in many of the complications of diabetes such as neuropathy, blindness, etc.

And of course even those who aren’t diabetic can suffer from the effects of glycation. Given the modern diet this is inevitable for most people. Because of that I completely agree with you regarding the elimination of refined carbs and artificial sweeteners. And not just for diabetics, but for everyone. Take a look around the blog and you’ll see many posts that support this view.

Thanks for the comment!

Dr. Bruce

You claim there is a way to reverse glycation by neutralizing the glue gobs already circulating in one’s system. But the two actions of carnosine that you’ve listed are both “stopping” as opposed to reversing or neutralizing. Sound more preventative than curative. Can you please clarify. Does carnosine “reverse” glycation. Also most other recommendations on the web say one should take 1000mg of carnosine to reap the benefits. The amount you listed is easily obtainable through an omnivorous diet. Please clarify this as well.

Hi Robb,

Thanks for your questions. I don’t believe anyone has claimed that carnosine reverses glycation. But stopping further stickiness is a huge step in neutralizing its effects. Also, carnosine has other effects that have the effect of supporting healthy aging.

The dosage, as with all supplements, should be adjusted by individual response. The recommended dosage was in addition to dietary sources.

If you want to find out more, here are some references for you:

Boldyrev, A. A., et al. Carnosine, the protective, anti-aging peptide. Biosci Rep. 19(6):581-587, 581-587, 1999.

Center for Molecular Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Biological Faculty, MV Lomonosov, Moscow State University, Vorobjovy Gory, Russia.

Carnosine attenuates the development of senile features when used as a supplement to a standard diet of senescence accelerated mice (SAM). Its effect is apparent on physical and behavioral parameters and on average life span. Carnosine has a similar effect on mice of the control strain, but this is less pronounced due to the non-accelerated character of their senescence processes.

· Hipkiss, A. R. Carnosine, a protective, anti-ageing peptide? Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 30(8):863-868, 1998.

Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) has protective functions additional to antioxidant and free radical scavenging roles. It extends cultured human fibroblast life span, kills transformed cells, protects cells against aldehydes and an amyloid peptide fragment and inhibits, in vitro, protein glycation (formation of cross-links, carbonyl groups and AGEs) and DNA/protein cross-linking. Carnosine is an aldehyde scavenger, a likely lipofuscin (age pigment) precursor and possible modulator of diabetic complications, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

· Hyland, P., et al. The effects of carnosine on oxidative DNA damage levels and in vitro lifespan in human peripheral blood derived CD4+T cell clones. Mech Ageing Dev. 121(1-3):203-215, 2001.

Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine), an abundant naturally-occurring dipeptide has been shown to exhibit anti-ageing properties towards cultured cells, possibly due in part to its antioxidant/free radical scavenging abilities. In this paper the results of an investigation on the effects of carnosine, at the physiological concentration of 20 mM, on oxidative DNA damage levels and in vitro lifespan in peripheral blood derived human CD4+ T cell clones are reported. Under the culture conditions used (20% O(2)) long term culture with carnosine resulted in a significant increase in the lifespan of a clone derived from a healthy young subject. No such extension was observed when a T cell clone from a healthy old SENIEUR donor was similarly cultured. Culture with carnosine from the midpoint of each clone’s lifespan did not have any effect on longevity, independent of donor age. Oxidative DNA damage levels were measured in the clones at various points in their lifespans. Carnosine acted as a weak antioxidant, with levels of oxidative DNA damage being lower in T cells grown long term in the presence of carnosine. The possibility that carnosine might confer anti-ageing effects to T cells under physiological oxygen tensions would appear to be worthy of further investigation.

· McFarland, G. A., et al. Retardation of the senescence of cultured human diploid fibroblasts by carnosine. Exp Cell Res. 212(2):167-175, 1994.

The authors examined the effects of carnosine on the growth, morphology, and lifespan of cultured human diploid fibroblasts. With human foreskin cells, HFF-1, and fetal lung cells, MRC-5, carnosine at high concentrations (20-50 mM) in standard medium retards senescence and rejuvenates senescent cultures. These late-passage cultures preserve a nonsenescent morphology in the presence of carnosine, in comparison to the senescent morphology first described by Hayflick and Moorhead. Transfer of these late-passage cells in medium containing carnosine to unsupplemented normal medium results in the appearance of the senescent phenotype. The serial subculture of cells in the presence of carnosine does not prevent the Hayflick limit to growth, although the life span in population doublings as well as chronological age is often increased. This effect is obscured by the normal variability of human fibroblast lifespans, which this study confirmed. Transfer of cells approaching senescence in normal medium to medium supplemented with carnosine rejuvenates the cells but the extension in life span is variable. Neither D-carnosine, (beta-alanyl-D-histidine), homocarnosine, anserine, nor beta-alanine had the same effects as carnosine on human fibroblasts. Carnosine is an antioxidant, but it is more likely that it preserves cellular integrity by its effects on protein metabolism.

· Shao, L., et al. l-Carnosine reduces telomere damage and shortening rate in cultured normal fibroblasts. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 324(2):931-936, 2004.

Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PR China.

Telomere is the repetitive DNA sequence at the end of chromosomes, which shortens progressively with cell division and limits the replicative potential of normal human somatic cells. l-Carnosine, a naturally occurring dipeptide, has been reported to delay the replicative senescence, and extend the lifespan of cultured human diploid fibroblasts. In this work, we studied the effect of carnosine on the telomeric DNA of cultured human fetal lung fibroblast cells. Cells continuously grown in 20mM carnosine exhibited a slower telomere shortening rate and extended lifespan in population doublings. When kept in a long-term nonproliferating state, they accumulated much less damage in the telomeric DNA when cultured in the presence of carnosine. The reduction in telomere shortening rate and damage in telomeric DNA made an important contribution to the life-
extension effect of carnosine.

· Yuneva, M. O., et al. Effect of carnosine on age-induced changes in senescence-accelerated mice. J Anti-Aging Medicine. 2:337-342, 1999.

Bickfored, P. Nutritional Support for Adult Stem Cells: guidelines for the clinical practice. Proceedings Report from the American Nutraceutical Association’s Fall 2007 CME Conference held in Memphis, Tennessee. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. 11(1):12-18, 2008.

Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA.

Combination of blueberry, green tea, carnosine and vitamin D3 can increase human stem cell proliferation. This formulation can also improve recovery from stroke in an animal model via an interaction with stem cell proliferation. Synergistic effects of the combination lower the doses of individual compounds needed to produce the positive effects.

Take care,

Dr. Bruce

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