Cataracts at the heart of new alternative research

Cataracts are, alongside age-related macular degeneration , a degenerative ocular pathology whose prevalence is increasing due to the aging of the population. It is the leading cause of blindness worldwide with 25 million cases.

In France, 400,000 cataracts are operated on each year. From the age of 75, it is estimated that more than half of the population has clinically significant lens opacities or cataracts. For more than 20 years, studies have suggested that nutritional factors could, through oxidative stress, and in addition to classic environmental factors such as exposure to ultraviolet rays and tobacco, play a role in the occurrence or reverse in protection against the risk of cataracts .

What is cataract?

Cataracts appear as a sufficiently dense and extensive opacification of the lens that can lead to a loss of its transparency, and ultimately lead to impaired vision . Currently, the only curative treatment used is surgery.

The high cost of these interventions has recently prompted some studies to look at medicinal alternatives , the development of which is indeed based on the use of suitable experimental models. With several successively developed protocols, it therefore appears possible to induce cataracts in the subjects of the study. These models pave the way for finding new natural solutions to cataracts that we will develop a little later in this article.

What are the factors that can lead to cataracts?

Cataracts are one of the most common eye pathologies around the world. Of genetic origin , linked to age or to metabolic disorders , it can also be the consequence of taking certain drugs .

Some hygienic-dietetic advice to prevent and limit cataracts naturally

Avoiding smoking reduces the risk of causing senile cataracts:

Smoking is an aggravating factor since it increases the production of reactive oxygen species and decreases the intake of antioxidants, given the deficient diet in fruits and vegetables of smokers.

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s brightness helps prevent damage to the lens that can accelerate the onset of cataracts:

The lens, the body’s only transparent organ, is made up of 63% water and 35% proteins, including crystallines , structural proteins of the lens. Oxidative modifications of the lens, linked to oxidative stress photoinduced by solar radiation and exposure to ultraviolet rays, ultimately induce a loss of transparency .

Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol level in diabetes can prevent any risk of eye disorders:

Besides protein oxidation, the role of protein glycation is furthermore well established in diabetes cataracts.

Eating fruits and vegetables helps the antioxidants they contain prevent cataracts:

The antioxidant defense systems are represented by endogenous factors (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, etc.), themselves dependent on zinc and selenium respectively, as well as by exogenous factors (vitamins C and E in interdependence) and carotenoids ( lutein and zeaxanthin, L and Z).

Experimental data underpin the role of these nutritional factors: vitamin C , for example, has a content 10 times higher in the lens of the eye than in plasma in humans, and up to 30 times higher in other animal species. daytime; and in animals deficient in vitamin C, cataracts appear.

Are there herbal remedies that can prevent or inhibit senile cataracts?

Bilberry :

According to studies, bilberry prevents age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by limiting the production of auto-fluorescent pigments that accumulate in the epithelial cells of the retina, as well as cataracts.

Artemisia annua:

The axillarin contained in artemisia is said to decrease in particular the formation of cataracts and retinopathy in diabetes by inhibiting aldose reductase.

Ashwagandha :

Research conducted has shown that Ashwagandha’s antioxidant and cytoprotective properties are ideal for fighting cataracts. Ashwagandha can slow the formation of cataracts in cells and also prevents diabetic cataracts which can be caused by chronically high blood sugar. It also offers optimal protection against oxidative damage caused by selenite to the lens.

 

Medical bibliographic sources and clinical trials :

 

Clementine. M.
Naturopath – Aromatherapist / Herbalist – Phytotherapist
Consultant in Clinical Phyto-aromatherapy and Ethnomedicine

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