Saturday, 20 April 2019

Herbal Bilberry Protects the Retina Against Degeneration

By Kyle J. Norton

Retinal degeneration is a condition of retinopathy associated with the gradual loss of neuron near the inner surface of the retina of the eyes.

Most cases of retinopathy are caused by abnormal blood flow.

The most common forms of retinal degeneration are macular degeneration which is a condition when the small central portion of the retina, (the macula) deteriorates and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) which is a rare genetic disorder involved a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina.

Retinal degeneration disease has been found to have a strong impact on daily life, ranging from performing basic functions to personal independence and mental health and vision loss.

According to the statistics, the overall prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is in the range of 1.38%-1.55%) and retinitis pigmentosa is 1 in 3,500 to 1 in 4,000 individuals.

Age-related macular degeneration affects more than 1.75 million individuals in the United States, and the number is increasing rapidly due to the growth of an aging population. The number of persons having AMD will increase by 50% to 2.95 million in 2020.

Symptoms of retinal degeneration may include blurred central vision or a blind spot in the center of the visual field.

In severe cases, loss of vision may be possible, particularly in people over the age of 60.

Dr. Rita Ehrlich, the lead scientist said, "Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an ocular disease that causes damage to the retinal macula, mostly in the elderly. Normal aging processes can lead to structural and blood flow changes that can predispose patients to AMD".

Bilberry is a species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to Northern Europe.

The plant has been used as herbs in traditional medicine for the treatment of acute and chronic diarrhea, gastritis, gastric ulcer, and duodenal ulcer, enterocolitis, ulcerative colitis, anemia, cystitis, kidney disease, and psoriasis, diabetes, etc.

Researchers in the concern about retinal degenerative diseases induced vision loss and retinal cell death examined the protective effects of the complex lutein formula (CLF) by combining several natural compounds: Calendula officinalis, Lycium barbarum, Vaccinium myrtillus, Cassia obtusifolia, and Rhodiola Rosea.

The formula showed significant protection of retinal functions in an animal model for light-induced retinal degeneration.

Before applying the formula, retinal function in animals exposed to light for 7 days decreased significantly.

However, CLF injection improved the superiority of the retinal function despite light exposure.

Furthermore, CLF restored a greater portion of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) (i.e. the nuclei of photoreceptors) in these animals compared to that of animals which had not received the formula after 7 days of light exposure.

The findings strongly suggested CLF including bilberry exerted a retinal protect against the gradual loss of vision caused by degeneration.

Dr. the lead scientist after taking other factors into account wrote in the final report, "our dietary CLF supplement attenuated retinal function loss resulting from long-term light exposure".

Long term light exposure on animal models has been associated with retinal degeneration, as it damages the retina (phototoxicity) and decreases photoreceptor which has strong implications for age-related macular degeneration.

Taken altogether, bilberry used alone or combined with other herbal remedies may be considered functional remedies for the prevention of retinal degeneration, pending to the validation of larger 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 and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Effect of a complex lutein formula in an animal model for light-induced retinal degeneration by Cheng YP1, Ke CY2, Kuo CC1, Lee YJ. (PubMed)

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