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Catalase and its importance in the fight against grey hair

Catalase is an enzyme with the job of converting the metabolite hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. In terms of the long-term maintenance of the natural hair colour, it is therefore so important because hydrogen peroxide causes the formation of grey hair.

Hydrogen peroxide prevents the functioning of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is necessary for melanin production, the colour pigment of our hair and skin. Accordingly, the neutralisation of hydrogen peroxide in our cells, particularly in the hair follicles, is the cornerstone of the fight against grey hair thanks to the antioxidant effect of the catalase.

Catalase and its function in the metabolism

The metabolism of organisms such as human beings is a miraculous and rather complex accomplishment of evolution. When we eat food, our digestive tract breaks this down into its individual components, and makes it accessible to every single cell of our body for further use. Subsequently, the metabolic by-products are flushed out and excreted. A large number of different enzymes with different tasks are involved in most of these biochemical reactions. They act as catalysts, and thus control large parts of our metabolism.

The same goes for catalase. The task of the extremely effective enzyme is converting hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into oxygen (O2) and water (H2O). A single catalase molecule can split and neutralise up to one million hydrogen peroxide molecules within just one second. Hydrogen peroxide occurs in the body as a metabolic by-product during the oxidative metabolisation of sugar, and has various damaging effects. It has a corrosive effect, and contributes to the damaging of proteins and the genome.

In addition, it results in the oxidation of the amino acid methionine contained in the tyrosinase, which means this cannot perform its task of forming melanin. Melanins are the pigments that are worked into our hair by the melanocytes in the hair roots, and thus determine our natural hair colour. That’s why the neutralisation of hydrogen peroxide is so important.

Catalase converts hydrogen peroxide in two steps. Initially, hydrogen peroxide is reduced, which oxidises the catalase. This creates water. Subsequently, hydrogen peroxide and the catalase are reduced, which also creates water, as well as oxygen. In this way, the enzyme catalase neutralises the hydrogen peroxide and thus its damaging effect on the organism.

The antioxidant effect of the catalase reduces oxidative stress, thus protecting the cells and maintaining overall health.

Where do catalases occur?

Catalase occurs in all aerobic organisms, i.e. organisms that consume oxygen. It occurs in almost all animal and plant nutrients. In human beings, the highest concentrations are found in the liver, the kidneys, the red blood cells and the skin.

Catalase as the foundation for a healthy metabolism

The metabolism is defined as the sum of the very complex and numerous physical and chemical processes that occur in every second in organisms such as plants, animals and people. During these processes, nutrients and oxygen are converted, and are essential for life. They are constantly interacting, with their natural balance decisively influencing our health.

With regard to the natural hair colour, this means that a perfectly functioning cell metabolism makes sufficient catalase available in the hair roots, and keeps the concentration of hydrogen peroxide low. To ideally support the functioning of the metabolism, we recommend the following:

  • Eat a healthy and varied diet. Pay attention to a healthy balance of various foods with a high content of vitamins and mineral substances. Particularly foods with a high level of antioxidants help to break down the free radicals. As human catalase consists of 526 amino acids, the absorption of proteins from various sources is important to ensure a good supply of all necessary amino acids.
  • Do sport: Sufficient exercise improves the circulation and helps your body to transport vital nutrients to the cells, as well as excrete by-products.
  • Stress as the cause of grey hair – avoid stress: Stress not only reduces our wellbeing, but also negatively affects our metabolism, and encourages the formation of grey hair. In stressful times, consciously make sure to balance things out with relaxation, e.g. with a scalp massage. This also improves the circulation, and thus ensures a better supply of nutrients to the cells.
  • Cut out nicotine and excessive consumption of alcohol. Both of these promote oxidative stress and thus grey hair.
  • Avoid the use of hair dyes. These attack the hair, can irritate the scalp and, if you want to lighten the hair, they contain hydrogen peroxide.

Conscious and healthy living creates the foundation for a properly functioning metabolism, which is the basis for lastingly maintaining the natural hair colour. In addition, regular care of the scalp with Elixir Anti-Grey by La Biosthétique is recommended as this contains natural ingredients that are perfectly geared towards the needs of the scalp. This enables you to optimise the nutrient supply to the hair roots, and balance out deficits and fluctuations in the natural metabolism.