Zinc carnosine (ZnC) is an artificially produced derivative of carnosine in which carnosine and zinc are linked in a 1-to-1 ratio. This article describes a series of studies to analyze the effects of ZnC on gut integrity and repair. The first experiment used in vitro models and showed that ZnC induced cell migration in several tissue cell lines, including a canine cell line. An in vivo study using a rat gastric damage model showed that ZnC was gastric protective. Studies using mice and indomethacin showed protective qualities of ZnC. Healthy human volunteers were used in a randomized crossover trial that evaluated changes in gut permeability before and after 5 days of indomethacin with ZnC or a placebo. There was a threefold increase in gut permeability in the control trial but no significant increase when ZnC was given.

COMMENTARY:There are many causes of disruption of the normal gastrointestinal protective barrier including bacteria, NSAIDs, and toxins. These studies provide hope for a supplement that may be useful when disruption is anticipated or has already occurred.

Zinc carnosine, a health food supplement that stabilizes small bowel integrity and stimulates gut repair processes. Mahmood A, Fitzgerald AJ, Marchbank T. GUT Published online June 15, 2006.