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MacuTrition: A Nutritional Supplement That Benefits DR Patients
LESLIE GOLDBERG, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Just as antioxidant supplements may help stave off AMD in at-risk patients, some might help forestall diabetic retino pathy (DR), particularly those formulated with diabetic patients in mind. Despite a lack of randomized clinical trials on the matter, the concept is given credence by animal models and studies in the literature on diabetes.
Ninety-seven percent of insulin-dependent diabetics develop retinopathy1 and 52.9% of type 2 diabetics develop diabetic retinopathy.2 Initiating nutritional-based therapy to diabetic patients as an adjunct to their current standard of care should be a consideration for retinal physicians.
Advanced Vision Research's nutritional supplement, MacuTrition, contains green tea leaf extract and other polyphenols, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E (both as tocopherol and mixed tocotrienols) vitamin D zinc copper and pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA.
Jonathan Stein MD of TLC Laser Eye Centers in Connecticut says that while this formulation is not fully different from the AREDS formulation it has extra ingredients that are beneficial. Dr. Stein says the addition of the green tea leaf extract in MacuTrition provides a potent antioxidant called epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG).
EGCG has a high affinity for the lipid layers of the cell membrane and is more effective than ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and tocopherol (vitamin E) in quenching reactive oxygen species.3
And while there are no thorough human studies that have been run to date on these nutritional supplements, animal studies show that, in diabetic rat models, EGCG is helpful in delaying diabetic complications. “The additional ingredients in MacuTrition help diminish oxidative stress to multiple systems,” says Dr. Stein.
Studies show that drinking green tea blocks corneal neovascularization in mice stimulated by VEGF at serum concentrations that are achievable in humans by drinking two to three cups of green tea a day (or 171 mg of green tea extract).4
Dr. Stein says that one of the negatives of mass-produced supplements is that the omega-3s used in them are in ethyl ester form; the triglycerides form while more expensive is more beneficial to patients he says.
“The important thing to remember about this particular supplement is that it has extra product in it specifically designed to help DR patients ” concludes Dr. Stein.
MacuTrition is the first major oral nutritional supplement that addresses oxidation, inflammation, and neovascularization, says Advanced Vision Research. It includes updated AREDS antioxidants, fish-oil omega-3s, vitamin D, green tea extract, and tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E), and it is available over the counter. MacuTrition contains no beta-carotene so it can be taken even if a patient smokes. RP
For more information, contact Advanced Vision Research at (781) 932-8327 or visit www.macutrition.com.
- Klein R, Knudtson MD, Lee KE, Gangnon R, Klein BEK. The Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy XXII. Ophthalmology. 2008; 115:1859-1868.
- Smith TS, Szetu J, Bourne RR. The prevalence and severity of diabetic retinopathy, associated risk factors and vision loss in patients registered with type 2 diabetes in Luganville, Vanuatu. Br J Ophthalmol. 2007;91:415-419.
- Zhao BL, Li XJ, He RG, Cheng SJ, Win WJ. Scavaging effect of extracts of green tea and natural antioxidants on active oxygen radicals. Cell Biophysics. 1989;14:175-185.
- Cao Y, Cao R. Angiogenesis inhibited by drinking tea. Nature. 1999;398:381.