Monday, 18 November 2013

Phytochemicals and Cataract

 Phytochemials are defined as a group of chemical compound found naturally in plants, including fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, etc.
Many studies have proven that they can treat cancers and diseases, because of certain phytochemicals, but for what ever reason, there are either no clinical trials follow through or the studies can not make to stage of clinical trials. Do not expect the pharmaceutical or foods industrial companies to pay for the researches, as the discovery of the phytochemicals to cure cancers and diseases can only dampen the profits of both industries as phytochemicals can not be patented.
A cataract is defined as a condition of clouding, developed in the crystalline lens of the eye. The condition mostly happens to the elder and in case of severity, it can be complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light.

Types of foods to prevent and treat cataract
Cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are common causes of blindness in the elderly population of the United States. Additional risk factors include obesity, smoking, and inadequate antioxidant status. Phytochemicals, as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, may help prevent or delay the progression of these eye diseases.
1. Green tea
In the study to evaluate the effect of green tea extract (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in cultured rabbit lens epithelial cells in order to pave a new way to postcapsular opacity (PCO) prevention, found that Green Tea Constituent(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate could inhibit cultured rabbit lens epithelial cells proliferation by inducing their apoptosis in the concentration used by us, which indicates that it is possible to prevent PCO by using herb extract(1).

2. Kale, spinach, turnip greens
In the study to evaluate the effect of long-term antioxidant supplementation (lutein and alpha-tocopherol) on serum levels and visual performance in patients with cataracts, indicated that Visual function in patients with age-related cataracts who received the lutein supplements improved, suggesting that a higher intake of lutein, through lutein-rich fruit and vegetables or supplements, may have beneficial effects on the visual performance of people with age-related cataracts(2).

3. Spinach, broccoli and eggs
The xanthophylls may act to protect the eye from ultraviolet phototoxicity via quenching reactive oxygen species and/or other mechanisms. Some observational studies have shown that generous intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin, particularly from certain xanthophyll-rich foods like spinach, broccoli and eggs, are associated with a significant reduction in the risk for cataract (up to 20%) and for age-related macular degeneration (up to 40%)(3)

4. Skins and seeds of grape
In the study to evaluate the potential role that FoxO transcription factors play in modulating resveratrol's protective effects against oxidative stress in lens epithelial cells, showed that RES exerts a protective effect against oxidative damage in LEC cultures. The levels of expression of FoxO1A, FoxO3A, and FoxO4 appear to play a central role in determining the pro- or anti-apoptotic effects of RES. This has implications for future studies on oxidative stress-related lenticular disorders such as cataract formation(4).

5. Etc.
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