The protective nutrient
ACCORDING to a Health Ministry report titled Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults aged 20 to 70.
Every diabetes patient is at risk of diabetic retinopathy as prolonged periods of high blood glucose levels can damage tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina.
As there are often no symptoms until the disease progresses, diabetic retinopathy can destroy the eye’s blood vessels without any noticeable symptoms.
Ninety-five per cent of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented by early detection, timely treatment and appropriate follow-up care.
Diabetes patients can lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy by keeping blood glucose levels under control, taking a dilated eye examination once a year, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Consumption of Pycnogenol can also provide protection to the eyes.
Pycnogenol is a natural ingredient extracted from the bark of French maritime pine trees (Pinus pinaster), which grow exclusively along the coast of southwest France.
Consisting of highly bioavailable antioxidants called procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, Pycnogenol helps protect the eyes by neutralising the harmful effects of free radicals. This enables the body to heal and repair itself.
Untreated retinopathy may progress to the proliferative stage, which is characterised by growth of new capillaries to compensate for the lack of oxygen supply in the retina. However, the new blood vessels are fragile, making them more likely to leak and bleed.
Pycnogenol strengthens retinal capillaries to help control leakage of blood and fluids into the retina. It also supports better blood micro-circulation in the retina by improving the endothelial function of retinal micro vessels.
In a multi-centre study titled Pycnogenol for diabetic retinopathy. A review. published in the International Ophthalmology in2001,a total of 1,169 subjects with type 1 and type 2 diabetes were provided with Pycnogenol in dosages ranging from 20mg to 160mg, depending on the severity of retinal bleeding, for six months.
The outcome of the study showed that after six months, on average, no further vision loss occurred, suggesting that Pycnogenol effectively stops the progression of retinopathy.
Besides that, visual acuity improved as soon as after three months of treatment and further improved after another three months of treatment with Pycnogenol.
Visual impairment can significantly impact a person’s daily activity. Hence, it is important especially for individuals with high blood sugar to protect their eyes to prevent the development of
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