Posted on Jun 28, 2019, 2 p.m.
Medical research continues to make advances bringing with it findings from therapies to treat various conditions such as age related eye conditions, this article touches on some of those findings.
Melatonin plays an important role in the eye, patients with glaucoma have significant increase in serum melatonin compared to those without the condition. Sleep abnormalities, anxiety, depression, and other conditions worsen the abnormality of melatonin levels; the complex relationship between eye conditions and psychiatric disturbances is a process mediated by melatonin and highlights the need for better control of melatonin levels.
Recently a decreased risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration in those who follow an Oriental or Mediterranean diet has been identified, along with an increased risk for those who follow the typical Western diet; fish oils and vegetables were beneficial whereas the high glycemic diet was detrimental. Alcohol consumption was found to increase the risk for ARMD by 20%, whereas fish reduces the risk by 18%, and no association was found between the risk of ARMD and consumption of nuts, grains, fats, dairy, fruits, or vegetables.
In the presence of an eye condition taking oral supplements is not always a good thing. Taking oral iron supplementation in those with Age Related Macular Degeneration has been associated with increased incidence of retinal hemorrhages, whereas oral flavonoid supplementation is beneficial for these patients. A study of over 2000 patients showed that those who used flavonoids in their diet had a reduced risk of developing ARMD in a 15 year period due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; additionally those who ate one or more oranges a day had a reduced risk.
N-Acetyl-Carnosine in eye drops may be of benefit for those with cataracts in addition to carnosine having significant beneficial effects in the eye. One study concluded: “The results showed that L-carnosine is a highly potent anti-glycating agent but with weak metal chelating and antioxidant properties…. L-carnosine showed a dramatic inhibition of advanced glycation end product formation…. L-Carnosine offers prospects for investigating new methods of treatment for diabetic cataract and any diseases that are caused by glycation”
In another study researchers reported creating solid lipid nanoparticles that carry NAC molecules to treat cataracts, which were able to deliver straight through the cornea in a sustained manner. “Therefore it may be concluded that (NAC nanoparticles) may revolutionize cataract treatment and reversal, by improving drug permeation, reducing toxicity and no damage to corneal tissue.”
Metformin has been found to reduce inflammation and excessive angiogenesis in diabetic retinopathy. In this study metformin reduced inflammation markers as well as significantly reducing spontaneous blood vessel formation in the retina.
In another study researchers stated, “Our results suggest that metformin may have a protective effect on ocular complications, especially glaucoma, in patients with type 2 diabetes. The effects of metformin either regarding prevention of ocular complications or ocular complications already developed in patients should be further investigated.”
Certain drugs and supplements continue to show up as being beneficial in the search for compounds that can help to slow the effects of aging. Carnosine, melatonin, and metformin have passed the test of time and continue to be supported by scientific research and even by the latest cutting edge research.
There are other methods to help fight aging, all that is needed is a will to learn about developments, and for patients and doctors to work together to create a personalized medicines framework to find the right therapy for the individual patients. Most times this will involve making changes to lifestyle choices which will result in ample opportunity to be of benefit to health and lifespan.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.