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The Best Supplements for Glaucoma - Part I

Updated: Mar 23

Introduction: Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, often associated with increased pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.

The root causes of glaucoma are believed to lie in both oxidative stress to the trabecular meshwork (the drainage system of the eye) and to the optic nerve, along with mitochondrial dysfunction.

These processes may impair drainage of the fluid, known as the aqueous humor, from the front of the eye. Impaired drainage may result in increased intraocular pressure can lead to optic nerve damage. The ultimate result is irreversible vision loss, if the condition is left untreated.

photo of optic nerve shoing a large cup and pigmentary chages.
Optic nerve with cupping, a classic appearance in advanced glaucoma.

While conventional treatments such as medications (topical eye drops and/or oral agents), laser surgeries, and other glaucoma surgeries are available, researchers are also exploring the potential benefits of various supplements in managing glaucoma.

In this article, let's delve into five research-backed supplements that show promise in supporting eye health and potentially aiding in glaucoma management.

person's hands picking a bunch of red grape from a vine using scissors
Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, is a pigmented plant-derived compound found in red grapes and cherries.

1. Resveratrol

Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, grapes, and certain berries, has garnered attention for its potential health benefits, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In the context of glaucoma, resveratrol has been studied for its neuroprotective effects on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which are crucial for maintaining vision. Research suggests that resveratrol may help preserve RGC function and delay optic nerve damage associated with glaucoma.

Bunches of small, dark black currants with green leaves attached.
Black currants are rich in anthocyanin pigments, deeply pigmented bioflavonoids that serve as antioxidants.

2. Black Currant

Black currant, rich in anthocyanins and other antioxidants, has been investigated for its potential role in promoting eye health. Studies have shown that black currant extract may help improve ocular blood flow and reduce intraocular pressure, both of which are important factors in glaucoma management.

Additionally, black currant supplementation has been associated with improvements in visual function and overall eye comfort.

Ginkgo Biloba leaves in the sun
Ginkgo biloba has been known for millenia for its medicinal properties.

3. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba, derived from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree, is renowned for its cognitive-enhancing properties. In the context of glaucoma, ginkgo biloba has been studied for its ability to improve ocular blood flow and protect against oxidative stress-induced damage to RGCs.

Some research suggests that ginkgo biloba supplementation may help preserve vision and slow the progression of glaucoma by supporting retinal health.

A schematic of the cell membrane lipid bilayer in blue with a sodium channel
Citicoline is crucial for the health of cell membranes.

4. Citicoline

Citicoline, a naturally occurring compound found in the body, plays a crucial role in cell membrane synthesis and repair. In the context of glaucoma, citicoline has been studied for its neuroprotective effects on RGCs and its ability to enhance visual function.

Research suggests that citicoline supplementation may help preserve optic nerve function, improve visual acuity, and potentially slow the progression of glaucoma.

Two hands cupped, holding fresh bilberries.
Bilberry is a fruit rich in anthocyanins, and shown to help lower eye pressure.

5. Bilberry (Mirtocyan)

Bilberry, a close relative of the blueberry, is rich in anthocyanins and other bioactive compounds that contribute to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Bilberry extract, known as mirtocyan, has been investigated for its potential benefits in glaucoma management. Studies suggest that mirtocyan supplementation may help reduce intraocular pressure, protect against oxidative stress, and improve visual function in individuals with glaucoma.

How to Get the Best Supplements for Glaucoma

While further research is needed to fully understand the efficacy and safety of these supplements in the management of glaucoma, preliminary studies suggest that they hold promise as adjunctive therapies.

Natural compounds, many of which are plant-based, can help protect against oxidative stress in the eye, as well as help to lower intraocular pressure. Diet is always the best way to get these nutrients, as nature intended.

However, our diets all too often fall short of important nutrients, and supplementation becomes necessary to fill in the gaps. If you are seeking an eye supplement that will provide you with many of the natural compounds mentioned above for glaucoma, as well as many additional nutrients to support your complete eye health, consider the Ageless Eyes Bundle. This bundle includes 3 foundational supplements - Nourish, Fortify, and Soothe - that have ingredients that are science-based, bioavailable, highest-quality, and third-party tested. Click HERE to learn more.

It's important for individuals with glaucoma to consult with their healthcare providers before starting any supplementation regimen. With ongoing research and clinical trials, the potential role of these supplements in supporting eye health and managing glaucoma may become clearer in the future.

Also, please check out my next blog, Best Supplements for Glaucoma Part II, in which I will share 6 additional compounds that may have benefit in glaucoma. I promise - these natural compounds will be eye-opening!

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