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The muscle carnosine response to beta-alanine supplementation: a systematic review with bayesian individual and aggregate data e-max model and meta-analysis.

Rezende, Nathália S.; Swinton, Paul; De Oliveira, Luana F.; Da Silva, Rafael P.; Da Silva, Vinicius E.; Nemezio, Kleiner; Yamaguchi, Giulherme; Artioli, Guilherme G.; Gualano, Bruno; Saunders, Bryan; Dolan, Eimear


Nathália S. Rezende

Paul Swinton

Luana F. De Oliveira

Rafael P. Da Silva

Vinicius E. Da Silva

Kleiner Nemezio

Giulherme Yamaguchi

Guilherme G. Artioli

Bruno Gualano

Bryan Saunders

Eimear Dolan


Beta-alanine (BA) supplementation increases muscle carnosine content (MCarn), and has many proven, and purported, ergogenic and therapeutic benefits. Currently, many questions on the nature of the MCarn response to supplementation are open, and the response to these has considerable potential to enhance the efficacy and application of this supplementation strategy. To address these questions, we conducted a systematic review with Bayesian-based meta-analysis of all published aggregate data using a dose response (Emax) model. Meta-regression was used to consider the influence of potential moderators (including dose, sex, age, baseline MCarn and analysis method used) on the primary outcome. The protocol was designed according to PRISMA guidelines and a three-step screening strategy was undertaken to identify studies that measured the MCarn response to BA supplementation. Additionally, we conducted an original analysis of all available individual data on the MCarn response to BA supplementation from studies conducted within our lab (n = 99). The Emax model indicated that human skeletal muscle has large capacity for non-linear MCarn accumulation, and that commonly used BA supplementation protocols may not come close to saturating muscle carnosine content. Neither baseline values, nor sex, appeared to influence subsequent response to supplementation. Analysis of individual data indicated that MCarn is relatively stable in the absence of intervention, and effectually all participants respond to BA supplementation (99.3% response [95%CrI: 96.2 – 100]).

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Frontiers in physiology
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation REZENDE, N.S., SWINTON, P., DE OLIVEIRA, L.F., DA SILVA, R.P. DA SILVA, V.E., NEMEZIO, K., YAMAGUCHI, G., ARTIOLI, G.G., GUALANO, B., SAUNDERS, B. and DOLAN, E. [2020]. The muscle carnosine response to beta-alanine supplementation: a systematic review with bayesian individual and aggregate data E-max model and meta-analysis. Frontiers in physiology [online], (accepted). Available from:
Keywords Nutrition; Physiology; Metabolism; Supplement; Meta-analysis; Histidine containing dipeptides; Buffering; Dosing