An Overview of Dietary Approaches to Prevent the Development of Glaucoma


Affiliations

  • Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, New Delhi, India
  • University of Delhi, Department of Food and Nutrition, Institute of Home Economics, New Delhi, India
  • University of Delhi, Department of Biology, Institute of Home Economics, New Delhi, India
  • University of Delhi, Department of Physiology and Promotive Health, Institute of Home Economics, New Delhi, India

Abstract

Glaucoma, the second-leading cause of blindness worldwide, silently and without warning can cause disabling vision loss that result from damage to the eye’s optic nerve. Glaucoma is characterized by Increased Intraocular Pressure (IOP) in some but not all cases. Faulty glycosaminoglycan (GAG) synthesis or breakdown in the trabecular meshwork associated with aqueous outflow as well as compromised antioxidant defense systems have also been implicated. Researchers have found nutrient interventions may impact this vision-robbing glaucoma. Nutrients that can influence GAGs such as vitamin C and glucosamine sulfate may hold promise for glaucoma treatment. Vitamin C in high doses has also been found to lower IOP via its osmotic effect. Other nutrients holding some potential benefit for glaucoma include antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, caffeine, melatonin and herbs etc. Role of dietary fats and proteins in glaucoma is an emerging field of research with potential therapeutic benefits. Diabetics and persons without diabetes but at the higher levels of fasting glucose, fasting insulin and HbA1c may also be at greater risk of glaucoma suggesting that dietary sugars also play a role in development of glaucoma. Similarly, Mediterranean diet and Caloric restriction are safe, non-invasive and low-cost treatments which may be used as auxiliary measures for a long-term therapy of age-related eye diseases such as glaucoma. In this review, various modifiable nutrient factors, that may influence intraocular pressure and that have been studied in relation to the risk of developing glaucoma are discussed. This review also outlines future directions for research into the primary prevention of glaucoma.

Keywords

Glaucoma, Intraocular Pressure, Glycosaminoglycan, Antioxidant, Melatonin.

Subject Collection

Global coverage

Subject Discipline

Ophthalmology, Physiology, Biology and Nutrition

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