Catalase is a potent antioxident; its reactions are crucial to sustaining life. An enzyme in the human body, catalase helps to prevent cells from being poisoned by reducing hydrogen and oxidzing it into simple water and oxygen molecules. Many plant derived foods contain sufficient amounts of catalase. Alternatively, catalase supplements are available. Catalase works with two other enzymes -- glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dimutase -- to provide health and anti-aging benefits.
Catalase is found in many fruit and vegetables sources. Leeks, onions, broccoli, bananas, apples, potatoes, parsnips, zucchini, spinach, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, yeast, celery, red cabbage, apricots and cherries are vegetarian sources of catalase. Catalase supplements can be purchase at health and vitamin stores and ingested orally; however, the enzyme is often digested in the intestine before reaching tissues in the body. In general, live foods provide the most sufficient amount of catalase. An alternative to taking catalase supplements is to swallow manganese, zinc, copper and selenium vitamins. These nutrients provide the body with the building blocks it needs to produce catalase. Wheat grass is also a vegetarian source of catalase.
Catalase effectively fights free radical damage to the body. It works in conjunction with superoxide dismutase (commonly referred to as SOD) to ward of the effects of free radicals, which include damage to the cells and tissue, a depressed immune system, infection, cardiovascular disease, joint disease and mental impairment. A catalse deficit is attributed to signs of aging. Eating a diet rich in catalase helps prevent the aging cycle.
Research published in the online journal "The FASEB Journal," published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, indicates that a lack of catalase is responsible for graying hair. As we age, the catalyst reactions in our body slow. This contributes to the influx of free radicals, which can be a key component of the aging process. Research scientists hope to discover a way to remix the chemicals in our bodies to keep the original color in our hair.
Catalase is used in the treatment of food wrappers because it helps to prevent oxidation, which results in the deterioration of food. Catalase is also used to remove hydrogen peroxide in the cold sterilization process. Cold sterilization is the processes of preserving dairy products, such as milk and cheese.