Health News: 01.Feb.03
Life Extension Magazine February 2003
is one of the most important nurtients for cataract prevention"
is a free radical scavenger that is especially protective against lipid peroxidation.
Since cell membranes are primarily comprised of fatty acids, carnosine helps maintain
membrane function and cellular structure.
Carnosine's best-known effect,
however, is its ability to prevent the formation of advanced glycated end products
(protein crosslinks). Carnosine competes with proteins for the binding sites they
would occupy on sugar molecules, making it the best glycation preventative currently
recognized in the world of nutrition research.
Carnosine has been found
to significantly extend the life span of cultured cells and fruit flies, inhibit
the toxic effects of the protein that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer's
patients, protect against the toxic effects of copper- zinc in the brain and enhance
the state of balance (homeostasis) under which physiological systems work best.
And, finally, it has been shown to prevent and/or reverse cataract.
administered topically to the eye in the form of N-acetyl-L-carnosine-(functionally,
a time-release form of carnosine), this dipeptide can move easily into both the
water-soluble (aqueous) and lipid-containing parts of the eye. Once there, it
helps to prevent DNA strand breaks induced by UV radiation and enhances DNA repair.16
Once it has entered the lipid areas of the eye, N-acetyl-L-carnosine partially
breaks down and becomes L-carnosine.
Chinese and Russian researchers have
studied cataract-preventive nutrients for nearly a decade. A Chinese study done
by A.M. Wang in 1999, used 96 patients aged 60 years or older having senile cataracts
of various degrees of maturity with the duration of the disease from 2 to 21 years.
Patients instilled one to two drops of the carnosine-containing solution in each
eye three to four times each day for a period of treatment ranging from three
to six months. The level of eyesight improvement and the change of lens transparency
were considered as an evaluation index of the curative effect of carnosine. The
result showed that carnosine gives a pronounced effect on primary senile cataracts,
the effective rate being 100%. For mature senile cataracts, the effect rate was
The Russians most recent contribution was published in 2002 in the
journal Drugs Research and Development. In two separate studies, they applied
a one percent solution of N-acetyl-carnosine to the affected eyes of cataract
patients twice a day. Only patients with mild cataracts-not anticipated to
require surgery within the next two years-in one or both eyes were selected to
participate. A matched control group received placebo drops, and another small
matched group received no drops at all. The first study lasted six months, while
the second continued for a total of 24 months. Tests of visual acuity and glare
sensitivity were administered every two months in the first study and every six
in the second.
After six months, a full 90% of eyes treated with N-acetyl-carnosine
showed improvements in visual acuity ranging from 7% to 100%. Glare sensitivity
improved 27% to 100% in 88.9% of carnosine recipients, and image analysis (a measurement
of visual clarity) improved in 41.5% of treated eyes. Lens examination revealed
fewer areas of lens opacity in the posterior subcapsular region. No worsening
of vision was found in the eyes treated with N-acetylcarnosine, and all of these
benefits were sustained through the 24 months that treatment continued.
study results are evidence that N-acetyl-carnosine is one of the most important
nutrients for cataract prevention (In liquid form). The entire body of research
on carnosine reveals its promise as an anti-aging nutrient that works at several
levels to protect multiple organ systems.