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Dietary β-alanine enhances brain, but not muscle, carnosine and anserine concentrations in broilers

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Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) and its derivative anserine (β-alanyl-1-methyl-L-histidine) are present in high concentrations in the muscle and brain of chickens. They are known as antioxidants and putative neurotransmitters in the brain. If administration of β-alanine (β-Ala), one of the constituents of carnosine, could increase the concentrations of these dipeptides in the brain and muscles, it could improve brain function and increase the commercial value of the meat in chickens. As an early step in investigating this hypothesis, in the present study, the effect of dietary β-Ala on these dipeptide concentrations in the brain, Musculus pectoralis superficialis, Musculus pectoralis profundus and Musculus biceps femoris was investigated in broilers. Four-week-old broilers were given a commercial diet or diet containing 0.5, 1 or 2%β-Ala for 4 weeks. At the end of the experiment, concentrations of both dipeptides were increased in the brain, while taurine concentration was decreased. In the muscles, concentrations of these dipeptides were unchanged. These results indicate that dietary β-Ala might influence brain function, but is ineffective in increasing the concentrations of carnosine and anserine in the muscles of broilers.
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Keywords: brain; broiler; carnosine; muscle; β-alanine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, 2: Fukuoka Prefectural Yame Agricultural High School, Yame-shi, 3: National Agricultural Research Center for Kyushu Okinawa Region, Nishigoshi-machi, Kumamoto-ken,and 4: Faculty of Human Environment, Kyoto Prefectural University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Japan; and 5: Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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