Carnitine is an essential amino acid, while carnosine is a non-essential amino acid. The term “essential” simply means that it is required through diet (by eating foods that have or produce carnitine) to obtain the amino acid, whereas non-essential means that your body can make the amino acid carnosine on its own.
Carnitine vs carnosine
However, carnosine is also made by the body without supplementation, but carnitine is only made available to the body through diet or taking supplements. Carnitine is synthesized from lysine and methionine, while carnosine is made from alanine and histidine.
Carnitine vs carnosine: How they work in the body
Carnitine transports fatty acids in the body. It also transports wastes out of the mitochondria in cells. Concentrations of carnitine reside in the skeletal and cardiac (heart) muscle.
Carnosine, a different amino acid altogether, is an antioxidant that functions in the skeletal muscle, brain, nervous system. Scientists are still not sure how carnosine works exactly, but it can chelate (known as chelation), which is the removal of excess amounts of copper and zinc from the human body.
Carnitine vs carnosine for cardiovascular health
Both of these amino acids can improve cardiovascular functioning by providing health benefits to the heart, but in completely different ways. Carnitine promotes overall heart health, while carnosine promotes healthy cholesterol levels.