Reseveratrol in eye supplement for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Resveratrol is a natural polyphenolic phytochemical with a variety of health benefits in age-related diseases, and aging processes, including age-related macular degeneration or AMD.

Resveratrol is found in at least 72 plant species and exists in two structural isomeric forms, cis and trans, with the trans form being more common and possessing greater biological activity. Polygonum cuspidatum, which is a plant used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, is one of the richest sources of resveratrol. The primary dietary sources for human consumption are peanuts, red grapes and red wine.

Resveratrol has a diverse range of biological properties including antioxidant, cardioprotection, anticancer activity, anti-inflammatory effects, estrogenic/anti-estrogenic properties and gene expression modulation many of them mediated by modulation of cellular signal transduction pathways.

The polyphenolic structure of resveratrol confers its antioxidant activity. Polyphenols are known for protecting against oxidative stress, degenerative diseases, and aging process. The antioxidant and ‘anti-aging’ properties of resveratrol are believed to be through the activation of SIRT1 gene and by mimicking calorie-restriction conditions.1,2,3,4

Current literature search suggest that resveratrol supplementation could offer the potential for modulating the risks in development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In one recent study resveratrol has shown strong protective effects against oxysterol-induced cell death and VEGF secretion and prevented neovascularization (development of new blood vessels), which is a major complication of age-related macular degeneration or wet AMD. The authors suggest a new “therapeutic perspective” for treatment of macular degeneration (AMD) using resveratrol.5

Abnormal angiogenesis (new blood vessels growing) is central to the pathophysiology of visually debilitating eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or AMD, and can lead to blindness.

Resveratrol in vitro and in vivo experiments (in mouse retinas) inhibited pathological angiogenesis, induced by laser injury, and resulted in inhibition of proliferation and migration of vascular endothelial cells, in models of wet macular degeneration.

According to one of these studies, “resveratrol could potentially be a preventive therapy in high-risk patients, and because it works on existing abnormal blood vessels, it may be a therapy that can be started after angiogenesis has already started to cause its damage.6

This suggested a broad beneficial effect by resveratrol against retinal diseases associated with damage and loss of retinal cells such as age-related macular degeneration.

More studies are being conducted on benefits of resveratrol for ameliorating age-related retinal cell degeneration. In one particular study, synergistic effects were seen by combining zeaxanthin with resveratrol for alleviating the oxidative damage in the acute acrolein toxicity models.7

Resveratrol also has shown protective effects against ultraviolet A-mediated damage to human retinal cells. We know that light damage to the retina accelerates its degeneration and can lead to macular degeneration and vision loss.8

In one study, although it included only one 80-year old man who had complaints of unremitting night driving difficulty and parafoveal deposition of retinal lipofuscin, resveratrol showed clinically measurable and subjective improvements in vision, including self-reported night vision, and dramatic improvement in contrast sensitivity function and mental function.9

The antioxidative, gene modifying and anti-angiogenic properties of resveratrol suggest a strong rationale for using this compound as a nutritional supplement ingredient in age-related macular degeneration or AMD.

Persavita has developed Saffron 2020 eye health supplement for macular degeneration. This patented macular degeneration supplement contains 100 mg of resveratrol in each capsule and is developed to help individuals affected by macular degeneration to maintain their eye health and support eyesight.


Selected references on benefits of resveratrol in age-related macular degeneration:

1. Queen BL, Tollefsbol TO. (2010). Polyphenols and aging. Curr Aging Sci 3(1):34-42.
2. Valenzano DR, Terzibasi E, Genade T, Cattaneo A, Domenici L, Cellerino A. (2006). Resveratrol prolongs lifespan and retards the onset of age-related markers in a short-lived vertebrate. Curr Biol 6(3):296-300.
3. Lagouge M, Argmann C, Gerhart-Hines Z, Meziane H, Lerin C, Daussin F, Messadeq N, Milne J, Lambert P, Elliott P, Geny B, Laakso M, Puigserver P, Auwerx J. (2006). Resveratrol improves mitochondrial function and protects against metabolic disease by activating SIRT1 and PGC-1alpha. Cell 127(6):1109-22.
4. Zheng Y, Liu Y, Ge J, Wang x, Liu l, Bu Z, Liu P. Resveratrol protects human lens epithelial cells against H2O2-induced oxidative stress by increasing catalase, SOD-1, and HO-1expression. Molecular Vision 2010; 16:1467-1474

5. Dugas et al., 2010    3. Dugas B, Charbonnier S. , Baarine M. Effects of oxysterols on cell viability, inflammatory cytokines, VEGF, and reactive oxygen species production on human retinal cells: cytoprotective effects and prevention of VEGF secretion by resveratrol. Eur J Nutr 2010 Oct;49(7):435-46. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

6. Khan et al., 2010 . Khan AA, Dace DS, Ryazanov AG, Kelly J, Apte RS. (2010). Resveratrol regulates pathologic angiogenesis by aeukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase-regulated pathway. Am J Pathol 177(1):481-92.  AND

7. Sheu et al., 2010 Sheu SJ, Liu NC, Chen JL. (2010). Resveratrol protects human retinal pigment epithelial cells from acroleininduced damage. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 26(3):231-6.

8. Kubota et al., 2010  Kubota S, Kurihara T, Ebinuma M, Kubota M, Yuki K, Sasaki M, Noda K, Ozawa Y, Oike Y, Ishida S, Tsubota K. Resveratrol prevents light-induced retinal degeneration via suppressing activator protein-1 activation. Am J Pathol. 2010 Oct;177(4):1725-31.

9. Richer et al., 2009   . Richer S, Stiles W, Thomas C. (2009). Molecular medicine in ophthalmic care. Optometry 80(12):695-701.