Carnosine and Eye Disorders (cataract and glaucoma)

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of an eye. Changes in the lens proteins affect how the lens refracts light and reduce its clarity, therefore decreasing visual perception. Chemical modification of these lens proteins leads to the change in lens color. New cortical fibers are produced concentrically and lead to thickening and hardening of the lens in nuclear sclerosis, which often appears yellow and can increase the focusing power of the natural lens. Increasing myopia can also be evidence of a progressing nuclear sclerotic cataract.

AGEs are one of the key substances which leads to cataract. Carnosine not only suppresses the formation of AGEs, but also protects the normal proteins from the toxic effects of the already-formed AGEs. This finding is quite new, from 2000, when were published works of the Royal College, University of London (C. Brownson, Hipkiss AR, et al.) on the effects of carnosine. Their experiments are based on the following: glycosylated ovalbumin has been created (egg white protein is damaged by methylglyoxal, a known substance for glycosylation). Damaged ovalbumin was mixed with a crystalline, eye lens protein and caused the formation of cross-links into the crystalline and subsequently its opacity. Carnosine not only prevented damage of the crystalline, but has caused the recovery of its structure.

A glaucoma is a disease that damages an eye’s optic nerve. It usually happens when fluid accumulates in the front part of an eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve.

Additional studies have confirmed the positive effects of carnosine in developed glaucoma, as well as for the prevention of the same. This discovery is extremely important for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, in which glaucoma often occurs. The influence of eye drops on the basis of carnosine to delay eye and vision aging has been definitely proven. It was revealed that it is almost 100% effective in cases of primary senile cataract and 80% effective in cases of developed senile cataract. Carnosine drops are regularly applied as a medicine for eye diseases in some countries.