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Catalase ---The Mysterious
Compound in Cucumbers
That Fights Cancer and
Gray Hair

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April 22, 2017

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses, Certified fitness
professionals and other members of our Editorial Board.]




Have you heard of catalase? Its very existence is vital to
ours. It is a critical enzyme, found within almost every single
living thing on earth. Catalase is an antioxidant enzyme and
it is crucial for helping protect cells in the body. Good levels
of catalase are very important. Find out why you need
catalase, and how to get more.

What Does Catalase Do?

Catalase catalyzes the body’s conversion of hydrogen
peroxide into its components, water and oxygen. Hydrogen
peroxide is most commonly recognized as the disinfection
you put on cuts, or the product you use to dye your hair, but
our bodies naturally make this substance all the time. It is a
product of cell metabolism, and it is useful for many
functions including a healthy immune system.

Too much hydrogen peroxide is not a good thing, however,
as it acts as a free radical and can cause dangerous cell
changes. Catalase helps keep levels in check. It can change
up to 40 million molecules of hydrogen peroxide to oxygen
and water within one second. In doing this catalase helps to
balance the action of hydrogen peroxide in your body,
protects cells, and protects organs.

Why Should You Care About Catalase?

Catalase is an antioxidant enzyme and studies show that it
helps combat oxidative stress. Many scientists believe that
oxidative stress is one of the principal reasons we age.

A 2006 study from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in
Russia showed how antioxidant enzymes such as catalase
reduced oxidative stress and DNA damage in the liver cells of
rats.

The researchers also found that increasing the levels of
catalase in the liver helped to reduce cell dysfunction and
even slowed the process of aging. The study was on rats,
but scientists are excited at the idea of this enzyme being
critical to slowing the aging process in humans.

Catalase may also even help to reduce gray hair. When the
hair cells produce too much hydrogen peroxide it bleaches
the hair from the inside out, causing the discoloration. As we
get older we are not as effective at breaking down hydrogen
peroxide, according to a 2013 study from the University of
Bradford in the UK and the University of Greifswald in
Germany. Catalase could help slow the appearance of gray
hair by reducing the amount of hydrogen peroxide in the
cells.

Catalase Can Help Treat Cancer?

What’s more, catalase has been touted as a treatment or
preventative agent for cancer. A 2017 study from Université
catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium says that this
“remarkable enzyme” is a potent anti-cancer agent. Cells
that are exposed to high levels of hydrogen peroxide are
altered and damaged.

Catalase reduces levels of hydrogen peroxide and also helps
stop damaged cells from spreading. Researchers say catalase
could be added to chemotherapy to increase effectiveness.

So how do you raise levels of catalase in the body so you
can benefit from these powers? Your body naturally
produces catalase but to get more, you can try these
strategies.






























1.
Eat Melons Which Are Rich in Catalase

Catalase naturally occurs in melons as well as other fruit like
apples. A 2005 study from The Chinese University of Hong
Kong, China showed that fruits and vegetables in the
Cucurbitaceae family (including melon, cucumber, squash,
and pumpkin) have a potent antioxidant effect. The
researchers tested the enzyme in rats’ livers.

2.
Choose Wheat Grass and Sprouts for Catalase

Wheat and barley grass sprouts are potent sources of
catalase. In particular, the young sprouts are more powerful
than older sprouts. According to a 2004 study from the
Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy, wheat
sprouts contain high levels of organic phosphates and
antioxidant compounds – particularly catalase. Researchers
also found that these biologically active substances could be
at least partially recovered through the digestion process.

3.
Beef Liver Is High in Catalase

It is no wonder that beef liver is a rich source of catalase.
The liver is where the body breaks down harmful chemicals
and sends them out of the system. Beef liver is also an
important source of iron, which helps send oxygen through
the blood, and other important vitamins for your health such
as copper and vitamin D.

4.
Potatoes are High in Catalase

There are many vegetables you can eat to get more catalase
in your diet, and the potato is one of the cheapest and the
most readily available. Sweet potatoes are also great for
catalase, according to the Center for Science in the Public
Interest.

5.
Eat More Carrots for More Catalase

Carrots are the perfect vegetables for a catalase boost.

They are fat-free,  low in sodium, and are an excellent
source of vitamin A as well as the vital enzyme. A 2015 study
from the University of Surrey in the UK shows how the wild
carrot is high in antioxidants and helps protect the liver.

6.
Boost Levels of Catalase with Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is a potent food which contains a rich variety of
nutrients, including the enzymes catalase, amylase, and
phosphatase. A 2014 study from Helwan University in Egypt
demonstrates that bee pollen and bee propolis have strong
antioxidant effects when tested on mice. Bee pollen reduced
oxidative stress and helped prevent cell damage.

7.
Get More Garlic and Onions for Catalase

Members of the allium family, which include garlic and onions
as well as leeks, are prized for their high levels of
antioxidants, including catalase, which naturally occurs in
these plants. A 2016 study from the University of Belgrade in
Serbia shows that extracts of onions and garlic reduced DNA
damage and acted as potent antioxidants.

8.
Eat Cruciferous Vegetables, Rich in Catalase

Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, broccoli, and
turnip greens are high in catalase. A 2012 study from
Alabama A&M University looked at whether these vegetables
would have an anti-cancer effect when fed to animals. They
measured levels of catalase in the animals and found that
those with the highest levels were those that had eaten
higher amounts of these vegetables.

9.
Try Avocado for Increased Catalase

Avocados are also a very rich source of catalase. According
to a 2014 study from the Nigerian Institute of Medical
Research in Nigeria, extract of avocado had a protective
effect in the liver. The researchers looked at liver-damaged
rats and found that those treated with the avocado oil
recovered liver function better than those without
administration of the oil.

10.
Add Cucumbers or Catalase Supplements to Improve
Health

Cucumbers are a rich source of catalase which has been
studied extensively.  Catalase is present throughout the
growing cycle of the cucumber plant. Natural plants such as
cucumbers and the fruits and vegetables discussed above
are the best sources of catalase not only because they
contain catalase but also because they are naturally low in
fat and free of cholesterol.

But you can also get extra catalase through
supplementation. The problem with many catalase
supplements is that they are usually digested before the
enzyme can reach the tissues and get to work. In order to
be effective, supplements should be a combination of
different enzymes. And you can also encourage your body to
make more catalase on its own by increasing your intake of
copper, zinc, selenium, and manganese.























































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Eating vegetables and fruits rich in catalase
such as cucumbers can prevent gray hair and
fight cancer.
Peppers grown in the greenhouse of one of our editors. Peppers
cause certain types of cancer cells to "suicide" themselves".
Read
more.