Are Carnosine and Zinc Carnosine synthetic or natural?
NOW® Carnosine is synthesized, and the zinc carnosine used in some of our sports nutrition formulas is partially synthesized.
While we firmly believe that natural is better, and we always endeavor to use natural-source ingredients, the natural form of many nutrients can be difficult to obtain for a variety of reasons, with cost being one of the most common. In such instances, NOW chooses to use synthesized or partially synthesized ingredients, both of which produce nature-identical molecules.
The synthesized form of a nutrient is called "nature-identical" if it has the exact same molecular and chemical structure of the substance found in nature. Some companies use the term "bio-identical" instead of "nature-identical".
Often the synthesis of nutrients in laboratories is obtained by growing benign bacterial or yeast cultures that produce nature-identical nutrients through natural fermentation. Other nutrients are very simple molecules that can be obtained utilizing basic chemical reactions, such as reacting specific starches with acids. Some nutrients are synthesized or partially synthesized (such as zinc carnosine). Other examples include ascorbic acid (vitamin C), mineral citrates, amino acids, B-vitamins like methylcobalamin, and many more.
The safety and efficacy of nature-identical nutrients has been proven over many years, and in many cases is identical to forms naturally produced in the body from food sources of their precursors or are the exact same forms that would be produced by isolating specific nutrients from food or other natural sources. Synthesized, nature-identical nutrients often are of higher purity and are more cost-effective than isolated nutrients from natural material sources.