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Blackcurrant Anthocyanins can Aid in the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Diseases

The use of plant-based supplements as an alternative to preventing and treating several ailments is increasingly gaining market. Plants have a group of phytochemicals, responsible for their coloration, called anthocyanins, which have been shown to improve some symptoms and the progression of diseases such as arteriosclerosis, diabetes, cataract, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis[1]. We can obtain anthocyanins from various foods and fruits, the amount and composition of anthocyanins depending on their type, origin and preparation process.

Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum L.) contain one of the highest levels of natural anthocyanins. Comparative analyses showed that New Zealand Blackcurrants (NZBC) have up to 3 times more anthocyanins than blueberries[2]. Blackcurrant anthocyanins (BCA), in particular, have been identified to have vasorelaxation effects[3]. Since reduced blood flow seems to be related to the development and progression of several degenerative diseases, BCA could be reason for the observed improvements in the symptoms and advancement oculopathies, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration[4].

In 2015, age-related macular degeneration or AMD affected 6.2 million people globally. In the United States, it is the most common cause of vision loss in among 50-year-olds and older. In New Zealand, AMD is a growing condition, where 1 in 7 people over the age of 50 will develop the disease (207,000 people by 2018)[5].

Recent therapeutic developments for AMD have concentrated on high-technology interventions, but they are costly and benefit only selected patients. Therefore, attention is focusing on identification of modifiable risk factors for AMD, such as low dietary intake of antioxidants because of poor diet. There is clinical evidence of reduced risk of ocular angiopathies with a daily intake of anthocyanins due to their vasorelaxation, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity[6].

 

However, our modern lifestyles can restrain our access to fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and avoidance of processed foods cannot always be an option in our busy schedules. This is where health supplements can play an important part in complementing our daily requirement for natural anthocyanins.

Vitality® New Zealand Eye Sight is a supplement that has been developed to deliver constant anthocyanin, as well as Vitamin A, Lutein and Zeaxanthin to maintain eye health and vision, particularly cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The health benefits of anthocyanins are outstanding but the benefits aren’t confined to anthocyanin as the Blackcurrant berry fruit has good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and Vitamin B5, and a broad range of other essential nutrients.

 

REFERENCES

[1] F. Khan, S. Ray, A.M. Craigie, et al., Lowering of oxidative stress improves endothelial function in healthy subjects with habitually low intake of fruit and vegetables: a randomized controlled trial of antioxidant- andpolyphenol-rich blackcurrant juice, Free Radic. Biol. Med. 72 (2014)232–237. A. Suter, W. Niemer, R. Klopp, A new ginkgo fresh plant extract increases microcirculation and radical scavenging activity in elderly patients, Adv.Ther. 28 (2011) 1078–1088. S. Zafra-Stone, T. Yasmin, M. Bagchi, et al., Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention, Mol. Nutr. Food Res.51 (2007) 675–683. K. Rezai-Zadeh, D. Shytle, N. Sun, et al., Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) modulates amyloid precursor protein cleavage and reducescerebral amyloidosis in Alzheimer transgenic mice, J. Neurosci. 25 (2005)8807–8814. F. Tremblay, J. Waterhouse, J. Nason, et al., Prophylactic neuroprotectionby blueberry-enriched diet in a rat model of light-induced retinopathy, J.Nutr. Biochem. 24 (2013) 647–655. M.P. Phyu, J. Tangpong, Neuroprotective effects of xanthone deriva-tive of Garcinia mangostana against lead-induced acetylcholinesterasedysfunction and cognitive impairment, Food Chem. Toxicol. 70 (2014)151–156.

[2] https://nzp.co.nz/blackcurrant-extract/blackcurrant-anthocyanins

[3] Borges, Gina, et al. “Identification of flavonoid and phenolic antioxidants in black currants, blueberries, raspberries, red currants, and cranberries.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 58.7 (2009): 3901-3909. Matsumoto, Hitoshi, et al. “Effects of blackcurrant anthocyanin intake on peripheral muscle circulation during typing work in humans.” European journal of applied physiology 94.1-2 (2005): 36-45. Nakamura, Yuko, Hitoshi Matsumoto, and Kazuo Todoki. “Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation induced by black currant concentrate in rat thoracic aorta.” The Japanese journal of pharmacology 89.1 (2002): 29-35.

[4] Pemp, Berthold, and Leopold Schmetterer. “Ocular blood flow in diabetes and age-related macular degeneration.” Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology/Journal Canadien d’Ophtalmologie43.3 (2008): 295-301. Ohguro, Hiroshi, Ikuyo Ohguro, and Saeko Yagi. “Effects of black currant anthocyanins on intraocular pressure in healthy volunteers and patients with glaucoma.” Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 29.1 (2013): 61-67. Nakaishi, Hitoshi, et al. “Effects of black currant anthocyanoside intake on dark adaptation and VDT work-induced transient refractive alteration in healthy humans.” Alternative Medicine Review 5.6 (2000): 553-562.

[5] Macular Degeneration New Zealand: http://www.mdnz.org.nz/

[6] Nakaishi, Hitoshi, et al. “Effects of black currant anthocyanoside intake on dark adaptation and VDT work-induced transient refractive alteration in healthy humans.” Alternative Medicine Review 5.6 (2000): 553-562. Pemp, Berthold, and Leopold Schmetterer. “Ocular blood flow in diabetes and age-related macular degeneration.” Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology/Journal Canadien d’Ophtalmologie 43.3 (2008): 295-301. Kumar B, Gupta SK, Nag TC, et al. Retinal neuroprotective effects of quercetin in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Exp Eye Res. 2014; 125:193-202. Payne AJ, Kaja S, Naumchuk Y, Kunjukunju N, Koulen P. Antioxidant drug therapy approaches for neuroprotection in chronic diseases of the retina. Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15:1865-86.

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