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Recent Research on Polyphenolics in Vision and Eye Health.

Kalt, W., Hanneken, A., Milbury, P.E., and Tremblay, F. (2010). "Recent Research on Polyphenolics in Vision and Eye Health.", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58(7), pp. 4001-4007. doi : 10.1021/jf903038r  Access to full text


A long-standing yet controversial bioactivity attributed to polyphenols is their beneficial effects in vision. Although anecdotal case reports and in vitro research studies provide evidence for the visual benefits of anthocyanin-rich berries, rigorous clinical evidence of their benefits is still lacking. Recent in vitro studies demonstrate that anthocyanins and other flavonoids interact directly with rhodopsin and modulate visual pigment function. Additional in vitro studies show flavonoids protect a variety of retinal cell types from oxidative stress-induced cell death, a neuroprotective property of significance because the retina has the highest metabolic rate of any tissue and is particularly vulnerable to oxidative injury. However, more information is needed on the bioactivity of in vivo conjugates and the accumulation of flavonoids in ocular tissues. The direct and indirect costs of age-related vision impairment provide a powerful incentive to explore the potential for improved vision health through the intake of dietary polyphenolics.

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