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Catalase is the Culprit for Gray Hair

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Catalase and gray hair

A simple, but powerful enzyme, catalase, has been found to be the culprit for causing gray hair. Catalase enzyme production declines with age, preventing hair follicles from producing melanin. In essence, catalase deficiency allows hydrogen peroxide build-up, bleaching our hair to gray then white.

According to results of the study, published in the FASEB Journal, hair becomes bleached from the inside out. Over time, our hair turns gray. Catalase enzyme levels decline with age and cease to give us protection from graying. The findings solve a long sought after mystery about why our hair turns gray.

Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief FASEB says, “All of our hair cells make a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide, but as we get older, this little bit becomes a lot. We bleach our hair pigment from within, and our hair turns gray and then white.”

Catalase is found in all living organisms that utilize oxygen. The primary role of catalase is to convert hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. Catalase can be found in highest concentrations in the liver. Catalase is also used commercially to remove hydrogen peroxide from milk to make cheese. Food wraps, made from catalase keep our groceries fresh by preventing oxidation.

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A combination of events leads to gray hair. The researchers also found that hair follicles need the enzymes MSR A and B in order to repair damage caused by hydrogen peroxide. To complicate matters further, low levels of MSR A and B also disrupt the enzyme tyrosinase, needed for melanin production, leading to gray hair.

According to Weissmann, “This study is a prime example of how basic research in biology can benefit us in ways never imagined. As any blue-haired lady will attest, sometimes hair dyes don't quite work as anticipated."

We now know that gray hair starts with declining levels of catalase, in turn causing a series of events that eventually turns our hair white. It seems that solving the ancient mystery of why hair turns gray is somewhat of a surprise to the researchers.

The scientists say the discovery that declining catalase enzyme causes gray hair may open new doors to strategies that can prevent and reverse the graying process.

Three Tips To Maintain Great Hair And Age Well




So - If grey hair is the result of decreased levels of catalase - how is catalase the 'culprit' for gray hair - For someone is trying to learn what catalase is, your atricle is confusing " A simple, but powerful enzyme, catalase, has been found to be the culprit for causing gray hair. Catalase enzyme production declines with age. " What ?
Hydrogen perxoxide is the culprit for gray hair, catalase is the enzyme that neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide. Gray hair isn't this simple though, there are many other enzymes, nutrients and genes that are factors.
Catalase removes hydrogen peroxide. It starts there - or else we'd be gray shortly after birth, right?
The correlation of using the enzyme Catalase to neutralize gray hair is a real break through. What I really want to know is--does it work? Anybody out there try the Catalase and supplements to reverse the process of graying hair? Please let us know!
I only have a very small amount of gray hairs and have tried catalase for a couple months and noticed absolutely nothing. It could be dose related or amybe it isn't absorbed well orally. While catalase may be an important factor, I personally thnk that tyrosinase enzyme is more important. I have never seen it in a supplement but it is used in research. Tyrosinase is the enzyme that along with L- tyrosine amino acid forms melanin in the body. It is found in high amounts in mushrooms and potatoes (probably the skins). There are a lot of factors in grey hair. Thyroid is one of them. If it is too low or even super high it can cause grey hair. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can contribute too. Wheatgrass sprouts and liver have high levels of catalase and some say they help grey hair. Nutirents and enzymes work together so food sources may be better than vitamin pills. The chinese say black sesame seeds and the hrb he shou woo help gray hair.
Asian medicine: whole natural health aspect, long-term/ permanent healing Western medicine: partial health, short-term eliminating of the symptom on the cost of other organs Everything has its place in the cosmos.
I am excited about the prospects of not having to dye my hair every two weeks when the grays start to become noticeable. Okay, now I must ask, "Who out there has tried the Calalase and suppliments to reverse gray hair?" Please let us know if the claims are legitimate!
Reread? The article says exactly what catalase is, seriously, and what it does. It's a cascade of events. There isn't an answer here of how not to go gray - it's an explanation of why it happens. The article says now that they know, there may be ways to prevent it.
Catalase is NOT the culprit for grey hair. It is the LACK of Catalase, that is the culprit. I think that is what the article means to say.
You've got it backwards. The enzyme Catalase keeps the production on peroxide from allowing the hair to become gray or white. It declines with age, sometimes ingenetically inclined individuals, and that allows the peroxide to build up and may cause the hair to become lighter, sometimes gray or white.
Well - This is a bit confusing - Isn't it . " A simple, but powerful enzyme, catalase, has been found to be the culprit for causing gray hair. Catalase enzyme production declines with age," What ?
i agree with you... catalase is the culprit for causing gray hair, but in the end, it is what is really needed to prevent hair from becoming gray. simple english composition and they make readers confused with their pronouncements... whew!!!
Yes, English is known for being difficult.
I take it what the above responses are getting at is the obvious question, "did anyone try taking enzyme supplements with catalase in it, with any positive effect?" and I am going to have to guess that the obvious answer at this stage is no... as was added in response to some of the questions..."there are many factors..." so I can understand the questions, and I guess we can now appreciate the answer
How does this explain a person's hair becoming gray or white in specific areas but not others because of intense and prolonged pain due to injuries? Does the stress reduce catalase levels or does it increase hydrogen peroxide levels? Here's the fun part - how does it explain, for example, pain in a jaw joint causing white hair on the opposite side of the head?
Don't lean toward Chinese medicine as they believe rhino horns affects virility and swim bladders of endangered species also improve their health. If they are so backward in their beliefs why would anyone follow anything else they have to say regarding healthy aging or living...