Carnosine for Cataracts

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Vision Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

If you suffer from cataracts, antioxidants can help lessen the effects of free radical damage to the lens of the eye. One antioxidant that has been shown to be particularly helpful is the compound carnosine. 

Carnosine is made up of the two amino acids—beta-alanine and L-histidine. It is naturally found in high concentrations in our muscles, heart, skin, and brain. Its antioxidant activity is well documented, but carnosine is also one of the very best glycation preventatives known. (Benfotiamine is another.)

I’ve discussed glycation numerous times in the past. This is the irreversible, harmful, and haphazard process where proteins bond with sugar molecules and lead to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). Glycation “hardens the body” and accelerates aging and has been implicated in retinal problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dozens of other chronic diseases. Carnosine competes with proteins for the binding sites they would otherwise occupy on sugar molecules.

A study of more than 50,000 individuals who have used the brand of eye drops called Can-C (which contains carnosine) since 2001 found improvements in light transmission, glare sensitivity, and visual acuity due to either stopping or reversing the formation of cataracts. More recently, Italian researchers have reported that carnosine shows promise in both the prevention and treatment of cataracts. 

There are three carnosine-containing drops that I personally know are quality products and have demonstrated the desired results:

For all three products, the general dosage is two drops per eye per day.

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