Diabetes Eye Health


An update on how to keep your eyes healthy




o f

u s

know that as diabetics the

main thing we have to do

to look after our eyes is to

look after our blood sugars.

But beyond being diabetic,

like any other human being,

there are steps we can take

to take good care of our

eyes. Here eye care experts

Bausch & Lomb reveal what

keeps our eyes fit for purpose.

It's well-known that carrots,

a rich source of Vitamin A, and

green leafy vegetables containing

Vitamin C are good for eye health

as is oily fish.

"What we eat today can affect

our health in the longer term," says

Dr Emma Derbyshire, a leading

nutritionist and member of the eye care

advisory panel WINK. "We all need to

be encouraged to value our eyes and

how to prevent them from deteriorating

by eating a diet rich in nutrients beneficial

to the eyes. It is particularly important that

the role diet plays in the health of our eyes

is discussed. This is especially important

today when our eyes are increasingly

exposed to technology."

Vitamin kicks

Tissues of the eye are vulnerable to

oxidative stress, a process where there is

an imbalance between the production of

reactive oxygen species (free radicals)

and antioxidant defense systems

that are naturally present in the eye. As

ageing itself also places demands on

these antioxidant systems this can leave

tissues of the eye vulnerable to damage

as we get older. Subsequently, increasing

intakes of nutrients such as vitamin

C (ascorbic acid) and E may help to

counteract some of these effects.

Laboratory studies have shown that

a combination of vitamins C and E can

help to prevent corneal endothelial cells

undergoing lipid peroxidation, free-radical

damage and cell death. This suggests

that the combined effects of vitamins C

and E could help to prevent corneal cells

from ageing, possibly helping to maintain

quality of vision. Another study showed

that a diet deficient in vitamin E led to

increased lipid peroxidation in the retina

in addition to accelerated retina damage,

particularly with age. This indicates that

vitamin E may play a role in retaining

the health of the retina; a layer of lightsensitive cells at the back of the eye that

are important for sight.

Further research found that vitamin

E taken in oral tocopherol form can help

to protect against ultraviolet radiationinduced cataract (clouding of the lens

leading to impaired vision). This is

important given that after the skin, the

eye is most vulnerable to sunlight, with

the lens playing a key role in absorbing

ultra-violet radiation.

Elementary help

Research from the Journal of the

American College of Nutrition also reports

how the element Zinc is essential for cell

metabolism and is present in high levels

in eye tissue, especially in the retina and


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