Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments to Protect Your Eyes

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Filed Under: Diabetes Complications, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/21/2014

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments to Protect Your Eyes

I believe the best way to protect your eyes from diabetic retinopathy symptoms and other diabetes-related eye problems is to make sure you’re getting nutrients that support the health of your blood vessels.

Here’s why. When blood glucose levels remain elevated for an extended time, sugar molecules can attach to protein molecules in a process called glycation. This process creates irreversible cross-links between adjacent protein molecules and forms new structures called advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs).

Among other things, AGEs can cause the collagen in our blood vessels to become stiff and inflexible. The tiny vessels in our eyes are particularly susceptible to this type of damage. However, there are two nutrients that can help maintain your healthy vision.

L-Carnosine for Healthy Vision

L-carnosine is a natural combination of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. In addition to being a potent antioxidant, it is considered the strongest glycation-inhibiting agent ever discovered.

Carnosine competes with proteins for binding sites on sugar molecules, which helps limit glycation and further protein damage. Furthermore, carnosine is believed to bind and modify AGEs that have already formed, which helps our cells target them for removal.

One of the best ways to take L-carnosine is by using special eye drops that contain it. The suggested dose is 1 to 2 drops in each eye daily. If you have a degenerative eye condition, check with your physician before using them for healthy vision.

Grape Seed Extract as a Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that protects blood vessels and capillaries from free-radical damage. Research also shows that grape seed extract can specifically help prevent diabetic retinopathy symptoms.

When taking grape seed extract, base the dosage on your body weight. For the first week, take 1 mg per pound of body weight (round up or down to the nearest 50 pounds), in divided doses with meals. After the first week, continue with a diabetic retinopathy treatment maintenance dose of half this amount. For example, if you weigh 210 pounds, take 200 mg a day for the first week, and then continue on 100 mg a day.

Don't Forget Your Multivitamin

Both L-carnosine and grape seed extract work best as diabetic retinopathy treatments in combination with a good multivitamin.

Everyone should take a potent, antioxidant-rich daily multi, but this is especially true for people with diabetes. Diabetes causes a lot of nutrients to be lost through the urine, and a good multi will help replace those losses and promote healthy vision.

More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Diabetic Complications

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