Sunday, 17 March 2019

Ginger Protects Our Eyes Against Cataract

By Kyle J. Norton

A cataract is a condition with a decrease in vision, caused by the clouding of the lens in the eye found mostly in older adults. Eye injuries, inflammation, and some other eye diseases are also found to initiate the condition.

According to the statistic provided by the World Health Organization, 51% of world blindness, which represents about 20 million people (2010) worldwide are the result of a cataract. The condition can be reversed by surgery.
Aging cataract can be classified into 3 primary types, including
* Nuclear sclerotic cataracts
It is the most common type of cataract in the elderly caused by the gradual clouding of the central portion of the lens.

* Cortical cataracts
It is a type of cloudiness that develops in the lens cortex outside the edge of the lens.

* Posterior subcapsular cataracts
It is a type of cataract begins with a cloudy area on the back surface of the lens.

Epidemiological studies suggested that people who are smokers, occupation associated with ultraviolet light exposure, diabetes mellitus and overweight are susceptible to the higher risk of the disease.

However, some researchers suggested that the widespread cataract in the aging population over the past few decades may be associated with the promotion of a high-fat diet.

Dr. Chung-Jung Chiu, the lead scientist said, "Two major dietary patterns were identified by principal component analysis and named Oriental and Western patterns. The Oriental pattern was characterized by higher intake of vegetables, legumes, fruit, whole grains, tomatoes, and seafood. The Western pattern was characterized by higher intake of red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, French fries, refined grains, and eggs".

And, "Our data indicate that consuming a Western dietary pattern is significantly associated with increased odds of early nuclear opacity".

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) or ginger root, the second superfood used for thousands of years by mankind, is the genus Zingiber, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae, native to Tamil.

The root has been used in traditional and Chinese medicine for the treatment of dyspepsia, gastroparesis, constipation, edema, difficult urination, colic, etc.

Researchers on finding a natural compound for the treatment of diabetic cataract caused by advanced glycation end products (AGE) examined ginger anti AGE activity.

The study included diabetes Wistar-NIN rats induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg body weight) and the control rats received vehicle alone.

In diabetics rats, a set of diabetic animals was given the AIN-93 diet, another set was given either 0.5 or 3% ginger in their diet for a period of two months.

According to the tested assays, ginger not only delayed the onset but also the progression of cataract in rats.

Ginger significantly inhibited the formation of various AGE products including carboxymethyl lysine in the eye lens.

Furthermore, the injection of ginger also inhibited the hyperglycemia-induced osmotic stress in the lens.

The results suggested ginger protects the eye against cataract in rats through a number of mechanisms involved the development of several pathophysiologies, including diabetic cataract.

Dr. Saraswat M, the lead scientist wrote at the end of the study, "The results indicated that ginger was effective against the development of diabetic cataract in rats mainly through its antiglycating potential and to a lesser extent by inhibition of the polyol pathway".

Moreover, in the study of oxidative stress and aldose reductase induced diabetic complications, researchers analyzed the protective effect against diabetic eye complication of purple waxy corn and ginger.

The study included streptozotocin-induced diabetics with the blood glucose levels >250 mg·dL(-1) orally given the extract at doses of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg·BW(-1) for 10 weeks. 

All doses of PWCG showed significant inhibition of decreased lens opacity, the levels of oxidative stress Malondialdehyde (MDA) and anti-reflective coating (AR) in the lens of diabetic rats.

PWCG also improved the antioxidant profile in the treated rats.

Most importantly, the antiretinopathy property of the combined extract was also confirmed by the increased number of neurons in the ganglion cell layer and thickness of total retina and retinal nuclear layer in diabetic rats.

Dr. Thiraphatthanavong P, the lead researcher said, "PWCG is the potential functional food to protect against diabetic cataract and retinopathy. However, further studies concerning toxicity and clinical trial are still essential".

Take all together, ginger processed a high amount of bioactive compounds may be considered a function alternative for prevention and treatment of cataract, pending to the confirmation of large sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Antiglycating potential of Zingiber officinalis and delay of diabetic cataract in rats by Saraswat M1, Suryanarayana P, Reddy PY, Patil MA, Balakrishna N, Reddy GB. (PubMed)
(2) The combined extract of purple waxy corn and ginger prevents cataractogenesis and retinopathy in streptozotocin-diabetic rats by Thiraphatthanavong P1, Wattanathorn J2, Muchimapura S2, Thukham-mee W2, Lertrat K3, Suriharn B. (PubMed)
(3) American Major Dietary Patterns and Age-related Cataract by Chung-Jung Chiu,  Gary Gensler, and Allen Taylor. (FASEB Journal)

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