Special Issue "Nutrition for Eye Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Paola Bagnoli
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Interests: animal models; ocular diseases; retinal function; neurodegeneration; neuroprotection; anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory compounds; dietary supplementation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among ocular diseases, those that substantially affect the vision by disrupting the functioning of retinal neurons represent a major burden with a high social and economic impact. In particular, visual impairment exacts an enormous financial and social cost on developing countries, thus requiring much research work into the cause and prevention of major blinding diseases. In addition to pharmacological therapies, the management of ocular pathologies includes nutritional supplements such as antioxidants, vitamins or fatty acids that are at present extensively investigated in terms of prophylactic benefits, potential harm, and optimal use. For instance, naturally occurring substances that humans take in with a normal diet can serve as antioxidants and free radical scavengers, possibly reducing or eliminating tissue damage from oxidation or the presence of free radicals in those tissues. However,  evidence for the benefit of diet supplementation is often controversial. For instance, epidemiological studies have indicated potential preventive effects of omega-3 fatty acids against dry AMD, although the results of the Age-Related Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) seem to exclude their potential in  preventing AMD progression. An additional complication in the use of nutraceuticals as therapeutic strategies is their scarce oral bioavailability, thus rendering investigations aimed to improve this aspect of fundamental importance. 

This Special Issue collects reviews or original papers representing the state of the art on nutrition and eye health in terms of clinically relevant animal models through which to understand the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of diet supplementation. In addition to preclinical studies, attempts to give an overview of the clinical investigation of dietary supplementation as a potential treatment for ocular pathologies are also recommended.

Prof. Paola Bagnoli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Animal models of ocular diseases
  • Anterior chamber
  • Choroid
  • Retina
  • Inflammation
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroprotection
  • Dietary supplementation
  • Protective mechanisms

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Dietary Combination of Forskolin with Homotaurine, Spearmint and B Vitamins Protects Injured Retinal Ganglion Cells in a Rodent Model of Hypertensive Glaucoma
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041189 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
There is indication that nutritional supplements protect retinal cells from degeneration. In a previous study, we demonstrated that dietary supplementation with an association of forskolin, homotaurine, spearmint extract and B vitamins efficiently counteracts retinal dysfunction associated with retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death caused [...] Read more.
There is indication that nutritional supplements protect retinal cells from degeneration. In a previous study, we demonstrated that dietary supplementation with an association of forskolin, homotaurine, spearmint extract and B vitamins efficiently counteracts retinal dysfunction associated with retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death caused by optic nerve crush. We extended our investigation on the efficacy of dietary supplementation with the use of a mouse model in which RGC degeneration depends as closely as possible on intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. In this model, injecting the anterior chamber of the eye with methylcellulose (MCE) causes IOP elevation leading to RGC dysfunction. The MCE model was characterized in terms of IOP elevation, retinal dysfunction as determined by electrophysiological recordings, RGC loss as determined by brain-specific homeobox/POU domain protein 3A immunoreactivity and dysregulated levels of inflammatory and apoptotic markers. Except for IOP elevation, dysfunctional retinal parameters were all recovered by dietary supplementation indicating the involvement of non-IOP-related neuroprotective mechanisms of action. Our hypothesis is that the diet supplement may be used to counteract the inflammatory processes triggered by glial cell activation, thus leading to spared RGC loss and the preservation of visual dysfunction. In this respect, the present compound may be viewed as a potential remedy to be added to the currently approved drug therapies for improving RGC protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Eye Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Vitamins and Coenzyme Q10 for the Treatment of Vascular Occlusion Diseases Affecting the Retina
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030723 - 09 Mar 2020
Abstract
Nutritional supplementation with antioxidants and vitamins is widely recommended in the treatment of vascular disorders affecting the retina, although there is insufficient evidence on its effectiveness. The vitamin-like compound coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a nutritional supplement of current interest to treat neurodegenerative diseases. [...] Read more.
Nutritional supplementation with antioxidants and vitamins is widely recommended in the treatment of vascular disorders affecting the retina, although there is insufficient evidence on its effectiveness. The vitamin-like compound coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a nutritional supplement of current interest to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we report a retrospective clinical case series study of 48 patients diagnosed with retinal vascular diseases, including non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), retinal artery occlusion (RAO), and homonymous hemianopia or quadrantanopia following stroke, treated with oral supplementation with CoQ10 (100 mg per day) and vitamins. Patient follow-up was performed using the Humphrey field analyzer and 30-2 testing algorithm to determine the visual field index (VFI) and progression rates. All treated patients showed positive VFI progression rates per year: +11.5 ± 15% for NAION patients (n = 18), +22 ± 17% for RAO patients (n = 7), +9.3 ± 10.5% for hemianopia/quadrantanopia patients (n = 10), and +11 ± 21% for patients with other conditions (n = 13). The interruption of CoQ10 supplementation in one patient resulted in a pronounced decrease of the VFI, which was partially recovered when treatment was restored. This study supports the role of CoQ10 as a nutritional therapeutic agent for vascular diseases affecting the retina. Owing to decreased VFI after interruption of CoQ10, its beneficial effects may be reversible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Eye Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Maternal Lutein and Zeaxanthin Concentrations in Relation to Offspring Visual Acuity at 3 Years of Age: The GUSTO Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020274 - 21 Jan 2020
Abstract
Lutein and zeaxanthin play important roles in visual functions, but their influence on early visual development is unclear. We related maternal lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations during pregnancy to offspring visual acuity (VA) in 471 mother–child pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards [...] Read more.
Lutein and zeaxanthin play important roles in visual functions, but their influence on early visual development is unclear. We related maternal lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations during pregnancy to offspring visual acuity (VA) in 471 mother–child pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) cohort. Maternal concentrations of plasma lutein and zeaxanthin were determined at delivery. We measured uncorrected distance of VA in 3-year old children using a LEA Symbols chart; readings were converted to the logarithm of Minimum Angle of Resolution (logMAR), with >0.3 logMAR indicating poor VA. Associations were examined using linear or Poisson regression adjusted for confounders. The median (inter-quartile range) of maternal lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations were 0.13 (0.09, 0.18) and 0.09 (0.07, 0.12) µmol/L, respectively. A total of 126 children had poor VA. The highest tertile of maternal zeaxanthin concentration was associated with 38% lower likelihood of poor VA in children (95% CI: 0.42, 0.93, p-Trends = 0.02). Higher maternal lutein concentrations were associated with a lower likelihood of poor VA in children (RR 0.60 (95% CI: 0.40, 0.88) for middle tertile; RR 0.78 (95% CI: 0.51, 1.19) for highest tertile (p-Quadratic = 0.02)). In conclusion, lutein and zeaxanthin status during pregnancy may influence offspring early visual development; but the results require confirmation with further studies, including more comprehensive measurements of macular functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Eye Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of the Minimum Effective Dose of Dietary Supplement Crocetin for Prevention of Myopia Progression in Mice
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010180 - 09 Jan 2020
Abstract
The natural carotenoid crocetin has been reported to suppress phenotypes of an experimental myopia model in mice. We investigated the minimum effective dose to prevent myopia progression in a murine model. Three-week-old male mice (C57B6/J) were equipped with a −30 diopter (D) lens [...] Read more.
The natural carotenoid crocetin has been reported to suppress phenotypes of an experimental myopia model in mice. We investigated the minimum effective dose to prevent myopia progression in a murine model. Three-week-old male mice (C57B6/J) were equipped with a −30 diopter (D) lens to induce myopia, and fed with normal chow, 0.0003%, or 0.001% of crocetin-containing chow. Changes in refractive errors and axial lengths (AL) were evaluated after three weeks. Pharmacokinetics of crocetin in the plasma and the eyeballs of mice was evaluated with specific high sensitivity quantitative analysis using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to determine the minimum effective dosage. A concentration of 0.001% of crocetin-containing chow showed a significant (p < 0.001) suppressive effect against both refractive and AL changes in the murine model. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference of AL change between the 0.0003% and the normal chow groups. The concentration of crocetin in the plasma and the eyeballs from mice fed with 0.001% crocetin-containing chow was significantly higher than control and 0.0003% crocetin-containing chow. In conclusion, we suggest 0.001% of crocetin-containing extract is the minimum effective dose showing a significant suppressive effect against both refractive and AL changes in the murine model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Eye Health)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Novel Target for Neuroprotective Nutraceuticals in Ocular Diseases
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 1950; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12071950 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
The eyes require a rich oxygen and nutrient supply; hence, the high-energy demand of the visual system makes it sensitive to oxidative stress. Excessive free radicals result in mitochondrial dysfunction and lead to retinal neurodegeneration, as an early stage of retinal metabolic disorders. [...] Read more.
The eyes require a rich oxygen and nutrient supply; hence, the high-energy demand of the visual system makes it sensitive to oxidative stress. Excessive free radicals result in mitochondrial dysfunction and lead to retinal neurodegeneration, as an early stage of retinal metabolic disorders. Retinal cells are vulnerable because of their coordinated interaction and intricate neural networks. Nutraceuticals are believed to target multiple pathways and have shown neuroprotective benefits by scavenging free radicals and promoting mitochondrial gene expression. Furthermore, encouraging results demonstrate that nutraceuticals improve the organization of retinal cells and visual functions. This review discusses the mitochondrial impairments of retinal cells and the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of nutraceuticals. However, some unsolved problems still exist between laboratory study and clinical therapy. Poor bioavailability and bioaccessibility strongly limit their development. A new delivery system and improved formulation may offer promise for health care applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Eye Health)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements in Ocular Surface Diseases
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040952 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface system whose chore mechanisms are tear film instability, inflammation, tear hyperosmolarity and epithelial damage. In recent years, novel therapies specifically targeting inflammation and oxidative stress are being investigated and used in [...] Read more.
Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface system whose chore mechanisms are tear film instability, inflammation, tear hyperosmolarity and epithelial damage. In recent years, novel therapies specifically targeting inflammation and oxidative stress are being investigated and used in this field. Therefore, an increasing body of evidence supporting the possible role of different micronutrients and nutraceutical products for the treatment of ocular surface diseases is now available. In the present review, we analyzed in detail the effects on ocular surface of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B12, C, D, selenium, curcumin and flavonoids. Among these, the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in ameliorating DED signs and symptoms is supported by robust scientific evidence. Further long-term clinical trials are warranted to confirm the safety and efficacy of the supplementation of the other micronutrients and nutraceuticals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Eye Health)
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Open AccessReview
Diet-Induced Rodent Models of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, Retinopathy and Nephropathy
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010250 - 18 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Unhealthy dietary habits are major modifiable risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disease with increasing prevalence and serious consequences. Microvascular complications of diabetes, namely diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), retinopathy (DR), and nephropathy (DN), are associated with high [...] Read more.
Unhealthy dietary habits are major modifiable risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disease with increasing prevalence and serious consequences. Microvascular complications of diabetes, namely diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), retinopathy (DR), and nephropathy (DN), are associated with high morbidity rates and a heavy social and economic burden. Currently, available therapeutic options to counter the evolution of diabetic microvascular complications are clearly insufficient, which strongly recommends further research. Animal models are essential tools to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying disease progression, to unravel new therapeutic targets, as well as to evaluate the efficacy of new drugs and/or novel therapeutic approaches. However, choosing the best animal model is challenging due to the large number of factors that need to be considered. This is particularly relevant for models induced by dietary modifications, which vary markedly in terms of macronutrient composition. In this article, we revisit the rodent models of diet-induced DPN, DR, and DN, critically comparing the main features of these microvascular complications in humans and the criteria for their diagnosis with the parameters that have been used in preclinical research using rodent models, considering the possible need for factors which can accelerate or aggravate these conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Eye Health)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1.    Giovanni Casini
Affiliation: University of Pisa, Dipartimento di Biologia, Via San Zeno 31,  I‐56127 Pisa, Italy
Tentative Title: Effects of an antioxidant derivative of curcumin in models of retinal diseases
2.    Dario Rusciano
Affiliation: Sooft Italia SpA, Contrada Molino 17, 63833 Montegiorgio (FM), Italy.
Tentative Title: Protective effect of a diet supplement based on vitamins and vegetal extracts in models of ganglion cell degeneration
3.    Davide Cervia
Affiliation: Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, largo dell Università snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy.
Tentative Title: Nutraceutical strategy to protect retina in Drosophila melanogaster models of neurodegenerative diseases
 4.    Vittorio Porciatti
Affiliation: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA
Tentative Title: Neuroprotection by vitamin B3 in glaucomatous disease
5.    Marco Pellegrini
Affiliation: Ophthalmology Unit, S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Tentative Title: The Role of Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements in Ocular Surface Disease
6.    Helder Andre
Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neuroscience, St. Erik Eye Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, 11282 Stockholm, Sweden
Tentative Title: Perspectives of the role of nutraceuticals for the treatment of age-related ocular degenerations
7.    Silvia Bisti
Affiliation: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, NetS3 Laboratory, Neuroscience and Brain Technologies (NBT), 16100 Genova, Italy. Tentative title: Antioxidant efficacy of saffron in Stargardt Macular Dystrophy
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