Cataract is a self-defence reaction to protect the retina from oxidative damage
Glaucoma Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, 22 Ismaninger St., 81675 Munich, Germany.Medical Hypotheses (Impact Factor: 1.07). 02/2011; 76(5):741-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.02.013
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Cataract extraction is the most common surgical procedure in developed countries. Lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z), retinal carotenoids, are the most powerful retinal anti-oxidants and absorb the harmful blue light. The depletion of L+Z induces the development of the lens opacification-cataract. Cataract reduces the retinal oxidative stress (OS), which causes a reduction of the probability to develop AMD. Oxidative Stress at the retinal level is the common pathway in the development of AMD and cataract. AMD and cataract are not two independent processes. Cataract is a self-defense reaction of the retina to reduce OS and retinal damage. Restoring the anti-oxidative capabilities of the retina by increasing intake of L+Z reduces the likelihood of AMD and cataract. Extracting the opaque lens elevates the retinal OS and increases the rate of AMD.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the independent pathogenic role of high serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels, sociodemographic data, dietary and environmental risk factors for visual disability (VD). This was a case-control study, run in 200 black Congolese patients managed in Saint Joseph Hospital Ophthalmology Division from Kinshasa town. Logistic regression model was used to identify determinants of VD (n=58) among sex, age, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, rural-urban migration, education levels, aging ≥60 years, intake of red Beans, Safou fruit and Taro leaves, lipid profile, residence, socioeconomic status, and GGT. After adjusting for confounding factors, we identified migration (OR=3.7 95% CI: 1.2-11.3; P=0.023), low education level (OR=3.1 95% CI 1.1-8.5; P=0.026), no intake of Safou fruit (OR=34.2 95% CI 11.5-102; P<0.0001), age ≥ 60 years (OR=2.5 95% CI 1.01-6.5; P=0.049), and serum GGT ≥10 U/L (OR=3.6 95% CI 1.3-9.6; P=0.012) as the significant and independent determinants of VD. VD appears as a major public health problem in Central Africa to be prevented or delayed by control of migration, lifestyle changes, antioxidant supplements, appropriate diet, nutrition education, and blocking of oxidative stress.
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