Vitamins for Vision – Diabetic Retinopathy and Degenerative Eye Diseases –

When you wake up at night in a dark room, you can usually see a fair amount – at least enough to navigate to a light switch – because your eyes have had time to the darkness. But when you move from a well lit room to a dark room, you find that it is impossible to see anything. Suddenly a misplaced shoe or the corner of a table can become an extremely dangerous (and painful) obstacle! It’s moments like these that can really help us to appreciate just how much we rely on our vision. People that have been blind or had poor vision for their entire lives have had time to learn how to adapt – much like the person waking in a dark room.  But when those who have spent a lifetime with sight are challenged with a loss of vision, it is like the person stepping from the well-lit room into the darkness

While vision is important to easily move about a room, we may not appreciate just how much we rely on other visual cues.  Imagine not only having a more difficult time moving around a room, but also not being able to see or recognize the face of a loved one. Imagine losing the independence to drive to the grocery store, or not being able to enjoy the vibrant colors of fall while out on a walk. Suddenly it becomes easy to see that our vision is important for so much more than simply moving about. It can have dramatic impacts on our independence, social life, mood, and overall sense of well being.1–3 This is why protecting vision is so important to more than 25 million Americans with diabetes, 30% of which will likely experience some level of vision loss and possibly blindness as a result of diabetic retinopathy.4

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading causes of blindness for people ages 20 to 74 years of age living in the United States.5 It develops largely as a combination of effects from elevated blood sugars and the effects it has on the small blood vessels in the eyes.6 Oxidative stress causes damage to the cells that make up these blood vessels in the retina causing them to become weak. Conditions like elevated blood pressure add even more stress to these weakened blood vessels, resulting in hemorrhaging, loss of vision, retinal detachments, and blindness.

Nutritional therapies that address specific factors that contribute to diabetic retinopathy can play an important role in protecting the eyes from this condition. Antioxidants help to reduce effects of oxidative stress and ultraviolet light to improve genomic stability and mitochondrial function, and additional nutrients can help to lower blood sugars, reduce blood pressure, and support general cellular health and metabolism.6–10 Even people that do not have diabetes may be at risk for developing other age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration. This increasingly common condition can also result in vision loss and is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years of age.7 The good news is that diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts share many similarities in their causes and many of the nutrients that protect against one condition will also protect you from another.6–8,11–16

Several of the ingredients used in Pinnaclife Nutritional Supplements are known to help protect against diabetic retinopathy and other age-related eye diseases including:

Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A (beta-carotene), lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin are all antioxidants that have been shown to protect the eyes from oxidative damage that leads to formation of cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. The combination of these ingredients plus zinc, copper, and alpha-lipoic acid are found in many expensive vitamins promoted for eye-health based on findings of the Age-Related-Eye-Diseases Study (AREDS) and it’s follow up AREDS-2, plus numerous other studies.7,9–11,14–20 All of these nutrients are included in the Pinnaclife Multivitamin.

Hydroxytyrosol is a potent antioxidant found in olives and one of the major components of Olivamine 10® Max, found in all Pinnaclife supplements. It has been shown to protect retinal cells from oxidative damage while improving mitochondrial function to support healthy cellular metabolism.21

L-taurine is the most abundant amino acid in the retina and important for the health of photoreceptors.22 People with diabetes tend to have lower plasma levels of taurine than those without diabetes.22 Deficiencies have been shown to result in retinal degeneration and research has also implicated deficiencies in the development of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.22,23 L-taurine has also been shown to protect vascular endothelial cells in high-glucose environments, suggesting a protective role in the retinal blood vessels of diabetic patients.22,24 L-taurine is a component of Olivamine 10 Max and included in all Pinnaclife Supplements.

Magnesium can help to dilate blood vessels and decrease blood pressure, improving circulation and protecting the retina from damage.25,26 Magnesium is found in Pinnaclife D3 + Magnesium, Sleep Support, Mood Support, Brain Health, and Joint Health.

Pinnaclife Prebiotic Fiber uses a form of fiber shown to help lower blood glucose and triglyceride levels following meals while also promoting beneficial bacteria that can help reduce inflammation and reduce some of the risk factors for obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.27–29

The role of nutritional supplementation for promoting eye health is widely accepted amongst ophthalmologists, with ever increasing evidence to support the practice. Unfortunately, many of the supplements promoted for eye health are prohibitively expensive and contain only a few select ingredients instead of a complete compliment of nutrients. Pinnaclife Nutritional Supplements are a cost effective way to boost your daily intake of nutrients proven to protect the eyes from diabetes and age-related complications, while also providing the nutrients to support the health of your entire body.


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19. Rapp LM, Maple SS, Choi JH. Lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations in rod outer segment membranes from perifoveal and peripheral human retina. Investig Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2000;41(5):1200–1209.

20. Aslam T, Delcourt C, Holz F, et al. European survey on the opinion and use of micronutrition in age-related macular degeneration : 10 years on from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Clin Opthamology. 2014;8:2045–2053.

21. Zhu L, Liu Z, Feng Z, et al. Hydroxytyrosol protects against oxidative damage by simultaneous activation of mitochondrial biogenesis and phase II detoxifying enzyme systems in retinal pigment epithelial cells. J Nutr Biochem. 2010;21(11):1089–98. 

22. Froger N, Moutsimilli L, Cadetti L, et al. Taurine: the comeback of a neutraceutical in the prevention of retinal degenerations. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2014;41:44–63.

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24. Wu QD, Wang JH, Fennessy F, Redmond HP, Bouchier-Hayes D. Taurine prevents high-glucose-induced human vascular endothelial cell apoptosis. Am J Physiol. 1999;277:C1229–C1238.

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28. Galisteo M, Duarte J, Zarzuelo A. Effects of dietary fibers on disturbances clustered in the metabolic syndrome. J Nutr Biochem. 2008;19(2):71–84. 

29. Conterno L, Fava F, Viola R, Tuohy KM. Obesity and the gut microbiota: does up-regulating colonic fermentation protect against obesity and metabolic disease? Genes Nutr. 2011;6(3):241–60. 

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