Are Antioxidants Good For Diabetic Retinopathy?

January 21, 2010

A small, but popular study published in the January issue of Ophthalmology finds no correlation between serum levels of Vitamin E and “inconsistent” results for Vitamin C and magnesium.  The conclusions are based upon a meta-analysis of over 4100 patients.

Laboratory evidence, however, indicated possible associations between the antioxidants and magnesium.  For instance;

  • Vitamins C and E suppress production of VEGF
  • Monocyte adhesion to retinal endothelial cells caused by hyperglycemia is inhibited by Vitamins C and E
  • Impaired insulin action and glucose uptake caused by altered protein kinase C may be reveresed with Vitamin C
  • Magnesium acts as a calcium antagonist

Based on these laboratory findings, no association between diabetic retinopathy and Vitamin E, Vitamin C and magnesium could be established.  Several conflicting results regarding Vitamin C and magnesium levels warrant further investigation the authors noted.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist
Fairfax Virginia




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