It's in a new Biotest product Beta-7. http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1196017
Sounds like it has some potential. The first studies show how beta-alinine supplementation impacts carnosine in the muscles and the last one is a study on carnosine's importance to us.
Influence of beta-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity.
C A Hill, R C Harris, H J Kim, B D Harris, C Sale, L H Boobis, C K Kim, J A Wise
Muscle carnosine synthesis is limited by the availability of beta-alanine. Thirteen male subjects were supplemented with beta-alanine (CarnoSyntrade mark) for 4 wks, 8 of these for 10 wks. A biopsy of the vastus lateralis was obtained from 6 of the 8 at 0, 4 and 10 wks. Subjects undertook a cycle capacity test to determine total work done (TWD) at 110% (CCT(110%)) of their maximum power (W(max)). Twelve matched subjects received a placebo. Eleven of these completed the CCT(110%) at 0 and 4 wks, and 8, 10 wks. Muscle biopsies were obtained from 5 of the 8 and one additional subject. Muscle carnosine was significantly increased by +58.8% and +80.1% after 4 and 10 wks beta-alanine supplementation. Carnosine, initially 1.71 times higher in type IIa fibres, increased equally in both type I and IIa fibres. No increase was seen in control subjects. Taurine was unchanged by 10 wks of supplementation. 4 wks beta-alanine supplementation resulted in a significant increase in TWD (+13.0%); with a further +3.2% increase at 10 wks. TWD was unchanged at 4 and 10 wks in the control subjects. The increase in TWD with supplementation followed the increase in muscle carnosine.
Amino Acids. 2006 Jul 28;:The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis.
R C Harris, M J Tallon, M Dunnett, L Boobis, J Coakley, H J Kim, J L Fallowfield, C A Hill, C Sale, J A Wise
beta-Alanine in blood-plasma when administered as A) histidine dipeptides (equivalent to 40 mg . kg(-1) bwt of beta-alanine) in chicken broth, or B) 10, C) 20 and D) 40 mg . kg(-1) bwt beta-alanine (CarnoSyntrade mark, NAI, USA), peaked at 428 +/- SE 66, 47 +/- 13, 374 +/- 68 and 833 +/- 43 microM. Concentrations regained baseline at 2 h. Carnosine was not detected in plasma with A) although traces of this and anserine were found in urine. Loss of beta-alanine in urine with B) to D) was <5%. Plasma taurine was increased by beta-alanine ingestion but this did not result in any increased loss via urine. Pharmacodynamics were further investigated with 3 x B) per day given for 15 d. Dietary supplementation with I) 3.2 and II) 6.4 g . d(-1) beta-alanine (as multiple doses of 400 or 800 mg) or III) L-carnosine (isomolar to II) for 4 w resulted in significant increases in muscle carnosine estimated at 42.1, 64.2 and 65.8%.
Amino Acids. 2006 Mar 24;:Physiological role of carnosine in contracting muscle.
Gulshanara Begum, Adam Cunliffe, Michael Leveritt
High-intensity exercise leads to reductions in muscle substrates (ATP, PCr6, and glycogen) and a subsequent accumulation of metabolites (ADP, P, H(+), and Mg(+)) with a possible increase in free radical production. These factors independently and collectively have deleterious effects on muscle, with significant repercussions on high-intensity performance or training sessions. The effect of carnosine on overcoming muscle fatigue appears to be related to its ability to buffer the increased H(+) concentration following high-intensity work. Carnosine, however, has other roles such as an antioxidant, a metal chelator, a Ca(2+) and enzyme regulator, an inhibitor of protein glycosylation and protein-protein cross-linking. To date, only 1 study has investigated the effects of carnosine supplementation (not in pure form) on exercise performance in human subjects and found no improvement in repetitive high-intensity work. Much data has come from in vitro work on animal skeletal muscle fibers or other components of muscle contractile mechanisms. Thus further research needs to be carried out on humans to provide additional understanding on the effects of carnosine in vivo.
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Oct ;15:366-85
Thread: Beta-Alinine, The New Creatine?