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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:549174. doi: 10.1155/2013/549174. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

Botanical compounds: effects on major eye diseases.

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1
Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA ; Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, 608 Stanton L Young Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA ; College of Public Health, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.

Abstract

Botanical compounds have been widely used throughout history as cures for various diseases and ailments. Many of these compounds exhibit strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic properties. These are also common damaging mechanisms apparent in several ocular diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and retinitis pigmentosa. In recent years, there have been many epidemiological and clinical studies that have demonstrated the beneficial effects of plant-derived compounds, such as curcumin, lutein and zeaxanthin, danshen, ginseng, and many more, on these ocular pathologies. Studies in cell cultures and animal models showed promising results for their uses in eye diseases. While there are many apparent significant correlations, further investigation is needed to uncover the mechanistic pathways of these botanical compounds in order to reach widespread pharmaceutical use and provide noninvasive alternatives for prevention and treatments of the major eye diseases.

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