Carnosine & Cataracts
not only inhibits the formation of AGEs - one of the main causative processes
leading to cataracts - it can also protect normal proteins from the toxic effects
of AGEs that have already formed. An elegant experiment carried out at King's
College, University of London, made this point (Brownson C et al., 2000; Hipkiss
AR et al., 2000). The scientists employed a glycating agent called methylglyoxal
(MG) that reacts with lysine and arginine residues in body proteins. The scientists
used MG to glycate ovalbumin (egg white protein). This produced a brown colored
solution typical of the "browning" effect of glycation. They then incubated
the glycated albumin with a normal protein, a-crystallin, from the lens of the
eye. The glycated albumin formed cross-links with the crystallin, but this was
inhibited by carnosine.
Patients with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's
disease may have an increased occurrence rate of glaucoma (Bayer et al. 2002).
This is due to the fact that several harmful biochemical reactions occur simultaneously
in all these conditions, i.e., oxidative stress, glycation, formation of AGEs
and carbonylation. As carnosine inhibits all the processes, it seems to be an
ideal dietary supplement for individuals who are in the risk of developing, or
have already any of these conditions.
Carnosine eye drops have been shown
to delay vision senescence in humans, being effective in 100% of cases of primary
senile cataract and 80% of cases of mature senile cataract (Wang AM et al. 2000).
L-carnosine eye drops are able to enter both the aqueous and lipid parts of the
eye, and they have been shown to prevent and repair light-induced DNA strand breaks
in the eye.
In Russia, carnosine eye drops are approved in humans for the
treatment of many eye diseases.
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