Catalase is thought to reverse gray hair, but can it really? Can anything do that? What about cancer? Some studies have evaluated this and found that the antioxidant is expressed in higher amounts in some cancer, and lower amounts in other cancers. You make this enzyme. Today’s article is devoted to sharing how catalase can support one’s health and the exact mechanism of action.
This enzyme was first noticed in 1818, and almost a century later in 1900, a scientist named Oscar Loew gave us its name. He found this compound in both animal tissue and plant matter.
This enzyme is equally important to human beings as its sister called “glutathione.” You probably heard of that because it’s promoted in many natural health circles as our master antioxidant. But catalase is equally important. The main point to remember is that this enzyme neutralizes and removes harmful peroxide from the body. It does more, but that’s its main function.
PEROXIDE = PAIN 😧
CATALASE = PEROXIDE BREAK DOWN INTO WATER AND OXYGEN 👍
You secrete catalase from the liver by the way and do so every minute of the day during your whole life. When you run out, peroxide formation increases and this cytokine is partially responsible for grey hair and dull skin.
Peroxide damages DNA and cell membranes, it is also harmful to your liver and other internal organs, especially the thyroid gland.
Now as I type that, I want to qualify it momentarily. Peroxide (H2O2) itself is not bad.
It is a disinfectant. You can buy it in brown bottles at the pharmacy. It’s used for cuts and wounds and YES, your cells make the same stuff but in tiny minute amounts!
Physiologically speaking, we make it and a little bit of it is okay so long as we break it down immediately! As we age, our ability to neutralize it (based on the amount of catalase we make) starts to decline, so peroxide starts to build up. With aging, more and more peroxide builds up, contributing to signs and symptoms of aging. Time may steal our youth, but it does it faster in people who are short on catalase. Remember that.
Peroxide is also used to whiten and brighten teeth! It’s commonly used in the dental industry and at teeth whitening booths because it temporarily ‘cleans’ the outer surface of dental enamel. Peroxide is used to lighten hair.
1. Catalase supports healthy DNA which reduces risk of mutagenesis
In the July 2012 issue of AntiCancer Research researchers studied the liver enzyme and noticed that tumor progression seems to occur faster and with more malignancy in cells that had higher levels of intracellular free radicals, aka “reactive oxygen species” or ROS. Can tumor cells inactivate catalase and cause resistance? Yes, that appears to be possible but more studies are needed. Tumor cells have a reduced ability to break down peroxide, which implies usefulness.
Hydrogen peroxide is produced by every single cell in your body as part of natural metabolism, but like other cytokines, it can become excessive. If you don’t neutralize it and break it down right away, the free radical tilts your body in the direction of pain and rusting (more grey hair, gloomy feelings and other signs of aging and disease).
2. Catalase supports autoimmune conditions
Peroxide is high in many diseases especially ulcerative colitis and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) but there are dozens more conditions not listed here. This PAPER discusses more about the pathology of those conditions and association with catalase dysfunction.
We also know that people who deal with vitiligo have high peroxide in their skin, and they could benefit from increased endogenous production. See this paper in Skin Pharmacology.
We know that antibodies can be formed against the CAT gene and therefore, in certain autoimmune conditions (possibly Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), catalase secretion is low. If that’s low, peroxide is high, and remember, peroxide = pain.
There are catalase supplements, I even sell one. But that’s not what I am referring to in this article. When I write about catalase in this blog, I am not referring to a pill, I mean the enzyme you make in your body, it is secreted naturally from your own liver. I am NOT saying that taking a supplement helps any disease because:
1) We simply don’t have proof of that, so we don’t know it
2) We can’t say it oudloud even if we do know it.
So, unfortunately, I cannot make claims about the CATALASE FORMULA that is sold on the market other than saying it’s a powerful antioxidant.* Why you may wonder? Why can’t I say exactly what it does??? Because half a dozen supplement makers got in trouble several years ago.
They were made to pay something like a million-dollar fine because they made false advertising types of claims… those companies said things like how catalase reverses gray hair in some people, or how it could cure cancer, or other unsubstantiated claims. So no one is allowed to make claims. Maybe some makers still say those things – they must not care about paying the fines or something!
No claims are supposed to be made in regard to ANY dietary supplements. The things that we – as supplement makers – can officially say out loud are comments like “such and such supplement supports this or that.” You have to decipher the code yourself. You might enjoy my other article about this topic – I devoted a whole blog to it because I was so annoyed one day! Read it please – 4 Ridiculous Examples of How Our Language is Controlled.
Catalase supplements support:
- Catalase helps reduce oxidation processes in the body so it supports healthy aging*
- Catalase turns hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen so it supports comfort in the body*
- Catalase protects DNA and mitochondrial function so it supports healthy cell proliferation*
- Catalase is an antioxidant and supports healthy hair* It can make for shiny, soft hair and more vitality*
3. Catalase enzyme is anti-aging and beautifying
Before I end this, this whole business of looking more attractive. We as a population will spend a lot of money on cosmetics, fillers, facials and other beauty treatments deemed special. It’s just so we can look in the mirror, and like what we see. We forget that the fastest way to look old and crinkly is to go out into the sun without sunscreen or a hat. Another quick way to age is to run out of your enzyme catalase. It works from within to hinder rusting. It does so by breaking down H2O2.
Catalase will not act as a “filler” so don’t expect that, but it could perhaps ease the signs of aging if your skin cells have been damaged from prior treatments or radiation. This may take 6 – 12 months, nothing works fast except dermal treatments and/or surgical procedures. Most people who buy catalase supplements do so because they are in some degree of discomfort, or they want anti-aging benefits, or they’re seeking vitality in their hair.*
PEROXIDE (H2O2) = PAIN 😧
CATALASE = PEROXIDE BREAKS DOWN INTO WATER AND OXYGEN 👍
Doubt me? Pour some hydrogen peroxide from a brown bottle onto a fruit and compare it to another fruit that is under your control. One will wrinkle and rot exponentially faster. You can also see how much catalase enzyme is in fruit by how much it bubbles. The bubbles occur when the fruit reacts with the peroxide and the catalase within the fruit breaks the peroxide down into oxygen and water (making bubbles). Bananas and avocados have more than melons and apples.
Just remember the main point: Time may steal our youth, but it does it faster in people who are short on catalase.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.