Catalase extends lifespan

May 06, 2005

The human body normally manufactures 3 very important antioxidant enzymes: Glutathione, Superoxide Dismutase, and Catalase. Low levels of these enzymes are tied into accelerated aging and a number of diseases, and even drug induced damage to important organs. These antioxidant enzymes counteract the effects of aging and disease by acting to diffuse free radicals. A reaction called oxidation generates these free radicals, and these free radicals are highly unstable-bleaching type compounds such as hydrogen peroxide - you can imagine the damage they could do to your brain or eyes.

In this study University of Washington School of Medicine scientists genetically engineered mice to produce extra amounts of the human antioxidant Catalase. In fact, the mice produced the higher levels of Catalase in key areas: in the mitochondria of the cells where energy is manufactured, and in the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is stored. Catalase breaks hydrogen peroxide down into water and oxygen. The mice with additional Catalase in the mitochondria outlived other mice by five months - a 20% increased life-span for a mouse. They also had healthier heart muscle tissue and heart disease, cataract production, and other signs of age were either delayed or prevented. It is clear that Catalase may prolong lives. The study is published in this week's Science Express, the early-on line edition of the journal Science.

Vitamin B6 may lower the risk of both colon cancer and colon adenoma

In this Harvard associated study, part of the Nurses Health Study, 32,826 women were followed to identify a protective connection between vitamin B6 and colon cancer. It was found that having higher levels of the active metabolite of vitamin B6 in the blood decreased the risk of colon cancer by over 50%. Oral intake of vitamin B6 significantly decreased the risk of colon cancer by 49%. The risk of developing an advanced polyp in the distal colon decreased by 35%. The study is published in the May 4th, 2005 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.