5 Benefits of Turmeric in Glaucoma

The variety of biological properties of turmeric has immense use in the case of glaucoma. Its antioxidant action is most notable. The other properties have additional benefits in reducing the risk factors that may lead to glaucoma.

1. Turmeric has neuroprotectiveve action

Glaucoma vision loss has lately been recognized as a neurodegenerative disease.

The oxidative damage and other toxic processes to the ganglion cells (receptors of the visual information) in the retina, is a primary cause of the vision loss.

This vision loss is unrelated to the intraocular / eye pressure. This means even if the eye pressure is reduced the vision loss may progress.

The role of TNF-α (a pro-inflammatory molecule) is an important aspect of the retinal ganglion cells degeneration. It promotes the accumulation of oxidative stress and eventually leads to cell death.

The oxidative stress leads to dysfunction of glial cells (cells surrounding neurons) and affects the function of optic nerves in reception and transmission of the visual information.

It has been established that neuro-protection is very effective in preventing the progression of glaucoma. It can be used as an alternative to the reduction of eye pressure.

In order to relieve the oxidative stress, dietary antioxidants such as those of turmeric have been found to possess immense potential.

The turmeric constituent curcumin is known for its neuro-protective action. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions reduce the oxidative stress and also work against abnormal TNF-α signalling involved in neurodegeneration.

Curcumin as an antioxidant has been found to be beneficial in preventing the optic nerve damage in glaucoma.

2. Turmeric benefits as an antioxidant

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Turmeric can be a beneficial antioxidant against glaucoma – Kentary’s photo

Oxidative stress is a major cause of degeneration of various tissues of eyes in glaucoma. Therefore, it has been suggested that antioxidant therapy is useful in preventing the disease. Various natural antioxidants can be included in the diet to protect the eye against the damage.

Turmeric being rich in the antioxidant compound curcumin can be a beneficial antioxidant against glaucoma.

Curcumin targets many transcription factors (such as NFκB) and pro-inflammatory factors (COX enzymes, cytokines, interleukins, etc.) to act as an antioxidant.

It protects the retinal cells from oxidative stress induced cell death. It inhibits the expression of various genes involved in the pro-inflammatory action.

Additionally, curcumin defends by inducing expression of heme-oxygense-1 enzyme against the oxidative damage of retinal pigment epithelial cells (involved in visual function).

3. Turmeric lowers intraocular pressure

Intraocular/ eye pressure has long been considered a primary factor of glaucoma especially, the open angle glaucoma.

Reduction in the trabecular meshwork cells of the eye has a role in increasing the eye pressure.

Trabecular meshwork is a tissue in the eye that facilitates draining of aqueous humor.

There is also an increase in the compounds called chondroitin sulphates and a decrease in the hyaluronic acid in the trabecular meshwork. This poses hindrance in the outflow of the eye fluid increasing the intraocular pressure.

The elevated eye pressure further leads to nerve damage.

Modulation of the intraocular pressure in the glaucoma patients is significant and often the first line of the treatment.

Turmeric has potential in reducing the intraocular pressure as well. Curcumin’s antioxidant action helps in this.

Curcumin also protects the trabecular meshwork from damage.

4. Turmeric can act against macular degeneration

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Turmeric is useful in the prevention of the macular degeneration – google image 

Macular degeneration refers to the destruction of the macula, a central tissue in the retina, affecting the central vision.

It is generally an age related disorder and some risk factors, such as smoking, cardiovascular diseases, etc also contribute to it.

Macular degradation is greatly associated with oxidative stress. Therefore, in glaucoma patients, macular degeneration can also be seen.

Glaucoma mainly affects the peripheral vision while macular degeneration affects the central vision. Together, they may result in complete vision loss.

Therefore, it is important to keep a check on macular degeneration in the glaucoma patients as well.

The antioxidant action of curcumin from turmeric is useful in the prevention of the macular degeneration. Its radical scavenging activity and induction of heme oxygenase-1 activation are responsible for this.

Curcumin has been found to restore the neuronal functions in the patients with macular degeneration caused by the oxidative stress.

5. Turmeric can control the risk factors of glaucoma

There are various risk factors that may lead to the onset of glaucoma. Some of these include obesity, high serum lipid levels, and diabetes.

Diabetes

It has been found that diabetes poses as a significant risk factor for glaucoma. The high blood glucose level is associated with the increased intraocular pressure.

Turmeric possesses significant hypoglycemic effect. Its various constituents such as curcumin and turmerone activate PPAR-γ. PPAR-γ regulates glucose metabolism.

Obesity

Obesity is another risk factor that may cause glaucoma.

The elevated level of free radicals in obese people leads to oxidative damage in the eye. This results in increased intraocular pressure.

The turmeric component, curcumin is known to promote weight loss. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action improves the metabolic processes to help in weight loss.

High Cholesterol and blood lipids

Serum lipids such as cholesterols and triglycerides are also a risk factor for glaucoma. A high level of these lipids in the blood is found in the patients of glaucoma.

Curcumin again helps in the reduction of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in order to prevent various cardiovascular problems, obesity, and diabetes.

Source: turmericforhealth

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