Stay Sharp with SR CarnoSyn®
Beta-alanine can play an important role here, as research shows its benefits for supporting mental acuity, learning, a balanced mood, and overall cognitive health well into the senior years.
SR CarnoSyn® for Everyday Cognitive Health
Beta-alanine’s benefits for memory and learning support are backed by science. One study examined the effects of a beta-alanine-enriched diet on young and older rats over 30 days.1 Researchers found that SR CarnoSyn® promoted significantly better spatial learning abilities than a control group as well as reduced occasional, everyday anxiety. This is a significant result, as nearly 18% of US adults suffer from anxiety annually.2 The study also investigated the mechanism of action for this benefit and found that the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus (the section of the brain that plays a major role in learning and memory) was higher in rats supplemented with SR CarnoSyn®—even among older rats with naturally lower BDNF expression.
These results are in line with the results of a separate, earlier study in which researchers also found that supplementing mice with beta-alanine positively affects chemical markers associated with anxiety and supports the body in response to stress. Beta-alanine decreased the hypothalamus’s concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (a major metabolite of serotonin), increased BDNF concentration in the hippocampus, and increased carnosine content in the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus. The supplemented mice also spent more time in a maze than control groups, further suggesting that “ingestion of beta-alanine-supplemented diet had an anxiolytic-like effect in mice,” the researchers stated.3
Increased Mental Performance Under—and After—Stress
Recent evidence suggests that elevated carnosine levels may enhance cognitive performance and even increase resiliency to stress, thanks to carnosine’s role as an antioxidant.4
One study5 recruited 18 soldiers from an elite combat unit to receive either SR CarnoSyn® or placebo for 30 days. During each testing session, the participants performed military-style physical tasks (like a 2.5-kilometer run, a one-minute sprint, and more) in addition to a two-minute serial subtraction test to assess their cognitive function under these stressful conditions. What researchers found was that not only did supplementation increase muscle carnosine content and improve aspects of their physical performance, but cognitive performance was also significantly greater in the beta-alanine group as compared to placebo.
Still other research confirms beta-alanine’s efficacy in supporting cognitive function after a stressful event. Rats who were supplemented with beta-alanine before exposure to a low-pressure blast wave showed increased resilience against behaviors associated with mild traumatic brain injury.6 By helping promote mental sharpness in the face of inevitable stress, beta-alanine is an ideal cognitive health supplement for healthy aging.
Cognitive and Physical Health Spanning a Lifetime
To remain independent and enjoy life through the golden years, staying mentally sharp is incredibly important. Beta-alanine and carnosine supplementation has earned its spot in the senior brain health category showing the supplement can support normal cognitive function in the elderly.
Fifty-six subjects aged 65 or older were assigned to take either a combined anserine and carnosine supplement or placebo for 13 weeks. After supplementation, the treatment group showed benefits for mind and body alike: decreased body mass index, better fitness test scores and lower perceived exertion, as well as a significant increase in mental status scores pertaining to copying, abstraction, and recall.7
Another research recruited 12 healthy adults around the age of 60, and supplemented them with either 2.4 grams per day of beta-alanine or placebo for 28 days. Ultimately, the researchers found that beta-alanine supplementation increased subjects’ exercise capacity and also eliminated the declines in executive function that can occur post-exercise.8
1Hoffman JR et al. “β-alanine supplementation reduces anxiety and increases neurotrophin expression in both young and older rats.” Nutrition Research, vol. 62 (February 2019): 51–63
2Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “Facts & Statistics.” Accessed at: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
3Murakami T, Furuse M. “The impact of taurine- and beta-alanine-supplemented diets on behavioral and neuro-chemical parameters in mice: antidepressant versus anxiolytic-like effects.” Amino Acids, vol. 39, no. 2 (July 2010): 427-434.
4Hoffman JR et al. “Effects of β-alanine supplementation on carnosine elevation and physiological performance.” Advances in Food Nutrition Research, vol. 84 (January 2018): 183-206
5Hoffman JR et al. “β-alanine ingestion increases muscle carnosine content and combat specific performance in soldiers.” Amino Acids. vol. 47, no. 3 (March 2015): 627-636.
6Hoffman JR et al. “Behavioral and inflammatory response in animals exposed to a low-pressure blast wave and supplemented with β-alanine.” Amino Acids, vol. 49 (2017): 871-886
7Szcześniak D et al. “Anserine and carnosine supplementation in the elderly: effects on cognitive functioning and physical capacity.” Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, vol. 59, no. 2 (September-October 2014): 485-490.
8Furst T et al. “β-alanine supplementation increased physical performance and improved executive function following endurance exercise in middle aged individuals.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nut