Mar 3, 2017

I Can See Clearly Now: Carnosine and Cataracts


Russian physician and researcher Marios Kyriazis, M.D. has been working with carnosine as it relates to brain health, sparking global research into its benefits, particularly when it comes to eye health.

Although carnosine, also known as L-carnosine, has been known for about a century, its anti-aging properties of this all-natural substance have been extensively studied only during the past few years. There have been more than 780 published studies on carnosine, mainly by Russian and Japanese researchers. Exciting results have been popping up around the world as researchers confirm its age-defying potential.

Here’s what is known; high concentrations of carnosine are present in long-lived cells, such as neurons, or nerve cells. A high concentration of carnosine in muscles correlates with a person achieving maximum life span, a fact that makes it a promising biomarker of aging. High levels of it are found in active muscles and low levels where there is muscular disease, such as muscular dystrophy.

Cataract-EyeIn studies of animals with cataracts, the concentration of carnosine in the lens was low. The lower the concentration of carnosine, the more severe the cataract. Rabbits fed a high cholesterol diet were found to be protected against arteriosclerosis and cataracts when also given carnosine supplements. In another experiment, dogs given carnosine supplements were protected against cataracts. Recent Russian studies on humans given a particular form of carnosine show that it can indeed reverse the effects of age-related cataracts.

Carnosine is widely believed to be an antioxidant that stabilizes and protects the cell membrane. Specifically, as a water-soluble free-radical scavenger, it prevents damaging fat buildup within the cell membrane. Many antioxidants are aimed at preventing free radicals from entering the tissues but have no effect after this first line of defense is broken. Carnosine is not only effective in prevention, but is also active after free radicals begin to form other dangerous compounds. So it protects the tissues from these damaging second-wave chemicals. For example, malondialdehyde (MDA), a harmful end product of a free-radical reaction, is blocked by carnosine. Uncontrolled MDA can cause damage to fats, enzymes and DNA, and plays a part in the process of arteriosclerosis, joint inflammation, cataract formation and aging in general.


Other Benefits of Carnosine

  • Carnosine plays a part in neurotransmission, it is a heavy metal binder (chelates metals for removal) and it modulates the activities of enzymes.
  • It has wound-healing properties and protects against radiation damage.
  • It is an immune booster.
  • It reduces inflammation and gastric ulcers, particularly when the ulcer is related to stress.
  • It impedes the damaging process of glycosylation, essentially the linking of glucose and protein.


Use with People

After dozens of reports about carnosine’s anti-aging actions in laboratory experiments on animals, the next logical step was to start giving it to people. In the past, carnosine supplements have been used mainly by bodybuilders and athletes, but that use has been primarily for reducing muscular fatigue. It has not been used to attempt to increase longevity.

During a preliminary experiment designed specifically for anti-aging, Dr. Kyriazis gave L-carnosine supplements (50 milligrams daily) to 20 healthy volunteers, aged 40 to 75, for a period of one to four months. No harmful side effects were reported. Five users noticed significant improvement in their facial appearance (firmer facial muscles), muscular stamina and general well-being. Five others reported possible benefits, such as better sleep patterns, improved clarity of thought and increased libido. The rest did not report any noticeable effects, which is not surprising because carnosine is not expected to show any significantly noticeable benefits over a short period.


Eye drops for Cataracts?

Recently the Russians have developed a unique form of carnosine called n-alpha acetylcarnosine (NAC). A 1 percent solution of this formula was placed into eye drops and administered twice daily into each eye of 49 people with cataracts.

After six months, results showed that 41.5 percent of the eyes had significant improvement, 27 percent had a general improvement and the remainder had minor improvement. After twelve months of treatment, 88.9 percent of the people studied showed significant improvement. Follow-up studies at 24 months showed that these beneficial effects had been sustained. Most importantly, no serious side effects were noted during the entire period. The main complaint was an initial sensation of heat, which disappeared with continued treatment.

This revelation has led to the first reliable nonsurgical treatment for age-related cataracts and indicates that this particular form of carnosine, NAC, is breaking existing cross-links between sugar and protein, as well as inhibiting them.

Cataracts account for about 42 percent of all blindness, and there are 28,000 new cataract cases reported every day. In people over 65, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure. The health and economic implications for a pharmacological treatment are huge.

Over the past several years, a unique NAC form of carnosine was tested. The original company has a proprietary method of producing a very potent and pure form of carnosine which is highly resistant to carnosinase, the enzyme that breaks L-carnosine down to histamine. It is believed that NAC (1 percent) eye drops twice a day will eradicate most cataracts without the need for surgery. You can obtain NAC and other useful anti-aging products from