Antioxidants join the fight against AMD

September 8, 2008

According to a report published in the September 5th issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, two processes in the retina, which in combination contribute to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), can be disrupted by antioxidants.

According to a report published in the September 5th issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, two processes in the retina, which in combination contribute to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), can be disrupted by antioxidants.

Heidi Vollmer-Snarr from Brigham Young University, Utah and colleagues from the Dyson Research Institute and Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New York, US found that the age lipid A2E and mitochondrial dysfunction work together to impair phagocytosis of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.

The build up of the compound A2E speeds up the death of RPE cells, which are not then replaced when they die. However, experiments performed with the cells from rats, cows and humans shows that antioxidants could completely counter such damage.

The implications of this study, according to the researchers, is that people at risk of developing AMD could help prevent the disease by consuming antioxidants.