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03.03.2017 | Review | Ausgabe 6/2017

European Journal of Nutrition 6/2017

Nutrition for diabetic retinopathy: plummeting the inevitable threat of diabetic vision loss

European Journal of Nutrition > Ausgabe 6/2017
Yashodhara Sharma, Sandeep Saxena, Arvind Mishra, Anita Saxena, Shankar Madhav Natu


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is among the leading causes of preventable blindness. Hyperglycemia, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and anemia majorly predispose its pathogenesis. The current treatment modalities of DR include laser photocoagulation therapy, intravitreal corticosteroids, intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents and vitreo-retinal surgery which are costly, highly invasive, unproven for prolonged use and opted in advanced stages of DR. By then retina already encounters a vast damage. Nutrients by their natural physiological, biochemical and molecular action can preserve retinal structure and functions by interfering with the various pathological steps prompting DR incidence, thereby altering the risk of developing this ocular morbidity. Nutrients can also play a central role in DR patients resistant towards the conventional medical treatments. However due to the byzantine interplay existing between nutrients and DR, the worth of nutrition in curbing this vision-threatening ocular morbidity remains silent. This review highlights how nutrients can halt DR development. A nutritional therapy, if adopted in the initial stages, can provide superior-efficacy over the current treatment modalities and can be a complementary, inexpensive, readily available, anodyne option to the clinically unmet requirement for preventing DR. Assessment of nutritional status is presently considered relevant in various clinical conditions except DR. Body Mass Index (BMI) conferred inconclusive results in DR subjects. Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) of nutritional status has recently furnished relevant association with DR status. By integrating nutritional strategies, the risk of developing DR can be reduced substantially. This review summarizes the subsisting knowledge on nutrition, potentially beneficial for preventing DR and sustaining good vision among diabetic subjects.

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