Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China(81170849); Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China(No.S2011020002401); Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China(No. 20100171110077)
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness. Improved knowledge of the pathogenesis of this disease has allowed the exploration of new therapeutic methods. In general, elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), oxidative stress, and vascular insufficiency are accepted as the major risk factors for the progression of glaucoma. Many natural compounds have been found beneficial for glaucoma. Nutritional therapies are now emerging as potentially effective in glaucomatous therapy. One nutritional supplement with potential therapeutic value is cod liver oil, a dietary supplement that contains vitamin A and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Vitamin A is important for preserving normal vision and it is a well-known antioxidant that prevents the oxidative damage that contributes to the etiology and progression of glaucoma. Vitamin A is also a crucial factor for maintaining the integrity of conjunctival and corneal ocular surfaces, and preventing the impairment of ocular epithelium caused by topical antiglaucomatous drugs. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for glaucoma patients as they decrease IOP, increase ocular blood flow, and improve optic neuroprotective function. In this article, we propose that cod liver oil, as a combination of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, should be beneficial for the treatment of glaucoma. However, further studies are needed to explore the relationship between cod liver oil and glaucoma.
Wen-Bin Huang, Qian Fan, Xiu-Lan Zhang. Cod liver oil: a potential protective supplement for human glaucoma. Int J Ophthalmol 2011;4(6):648-651Copy