American journal of therapeutics

New concept in nutrition for the maintenance of the aging eye redox regulation and therapeutic treatment of cataract disease; synergism of natural antioxidant imidazole-containing amino acid-based compounds, chaperone, and glutathione boosting agents: a systemic perspective on aging and longevity emerged from studies in humans.

PMID 20463577


Cataract, opacification of the lens, is one of the commonest causes of loss of useful vision during aging, with an estimated 16 million people world-wide affected. The role of nutritional supplementation in prevention of onset or progression of ocular disease is of interest to health care professionals and patients. The aging eye seems to be at considerable risk from oxidative stress. This review outlines the potential role of the new nutritional strategy on redox balance in age-related eye diseases and detail how the synergism and interaction of imidazole-containing amino acid-based compounds (nonhydrolized L-carnosine, histidine), chaperone agents (such as, L-carnosine, D-pantethine), glutathione-boosting agents (N-acetylcysteine, vitamin E, methionine), and N-acetylcarnosine eye drops plays key roles in the function and maintenance of the redox systems in the aging eye and in the treatment of human cataract disease. A novel patented oral health supplement is presented which enhances the anticataract activity of eye drops and activates functional visual acuity. The clinical data demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of a combined oral health care treatment with amino acids possessing chaperone-like activity with N-acetylcarnosine lubricant eye drops. L-carnosine and N-acetylcarnosine protected the chaperone activity of alpha-crystallin and reduced the increased posttranslational modifications of lens proteins. Biological activities of the nonhydrolyzed carnosine in the oral formulation are based on its antioxidant and antiglycating (transglycating) action that, in addition to heavy metal chelation and pH-buffering ability, makes carnosine an essential factor for preventing sight-threatening eye disorders having oxidative stress in their pathogenesis, neurodegeneration, and accumulation of senile features. The findings suggest that synergism is required between carnosine or other imidazole-containing compounds and reduced glutathione in tissues and cells for efficacious protection from protein carbonylation as a biomarker for the ability of the non-toxic compounds to reduce oxidative stress. Potential therapeutic applications of oral forms of nonhydrolized carnosine and their specific mechanisms to manage telomere attrition and vascular aging might help elderly patients to withstand the problems of sight-threatening eye diseases related to oxidative stress and accelerated biological ageing in linked with earlier onset of diseases.