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January 31, 2013
This is the fourth of four parts. You can read parts 1, 2, and 3 here, here, and here.Mucoadhesive Compounds As we age, we become more susceptible to many diseases and "age-related" conditions, especially of the eyes. Although we try to keep our eyes healthy by taking supplements and eating the right foods, there is still the problem of getting these nutrients directly to the structures in the eye. As we age our bodies become less efficient, and in both young and old alike, for those who have health compromises, getting proper nutrients to the eye is relatively inefficient. Conditions such as glaucoma, senile cataracts, dry eye, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and general aging of the eyes are all very common. Many of these conditions are instigated by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGE's). Because the eye and its surrounding structures exist in a combination of an aqueous and a lipid-soluble environment, getting water soluble and fat soluble nutrients/supplements into the eye is a challenge that traditional methods (i.e., oral supplementation), alone don’t efficaciously resolve. In a comprehensive review1, it was shown that scientists at Innovative Vision Products, Inc. (IVP) developed a lubricant eye drop designed for the sustained release of a 1% N-Acetylcarnosine (NAC) solution, (a pro-drug of L-Carnosine). NAC has a history of maintaining proper eye health and has been shown to be effective against many aging conditions of the eye. But just as with other supplements/drugs of this nature, dosing of the active, due to the "physiology" of the eye itself, requires a better delivery system to be most effective. Thus, the technology importance here, is more about the delivery than about the "pro-drug"/supplement itself.Scientists at IVP utilized the power of NAC with a mucoadhesive cellulose-based compound combined with corneal absorption promoters and glycerine in order to deliver the pro-drug directly into the eye. The NAC topical eye drops take advantage of the mucoid-adhesive properties of the eye while utilizing cellulose as a sustained-release vehicle for keeping more pro-drug in the eye, maintaining it there for a longer period of time, while also targeting the eye directly. The NAC doesn't have to "travel" through the bloodstream to get to the target, and thus, won't be broken down in the process. NAC topical eye drop technology is an example of targeted release and sustainability, and has demonstrated significant efficacy, safety, and good tolerability for the prevention and treatment of visual compromise and impairment, especially in the aged population1.References1. Babizhayev, M.A. and Micans, P., et. al. (2009) N-acetylcarnosine lubricant eye drops possess all-in-one universal antioxidant protective effects of L-carnosine in aqueous and lipid membrane environments, aldehyde scavenging, and transglycation activities inherent to cataracts: a clinical study of the new vision-saving drug N-acetylcarnosine eyedrop therapy in a database population of over 50,500 patients. Am. J. Ther., 16, 517.
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