Hydroxytyrosol helps in protecting eyesight

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is known to cause damage to various structures in the eye and can contribute to the development of serious ocular pathologies. Excessive exposure to UVR can increase oxidative stress (OS) in eye tissues, leading to the advancement of conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and oxidative- and inflammatory-related ocular surface diseases. One potential threat to the eyes is oxidation and the diminishment of internal antioxidant defenses, which can result in the production of harmful byproducts like acrolein.


AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in older individuals and affects the macular area of the retina. Oxidative stress plays a role in the degeneration of retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors in this condition.


Dietary supplementation of hydroxytyrosol, a compound found in third sources, has shown potential in protecting against oxidative damage to retinal pigment epithelial cells. Hydroxytyrosol can act as an inducer of phase II detoxifying enzymes, an antioxidant booster, and an enhancer of mitochondrial biogenesis. These properties make it beneficial for maintaining eye health.


The aging population is growing rapidly, and cataracts are a major concern for older individuals. Age is a significant risk factor for cataracts, and the demand for cataract surgery outweighs available public health resources. Additionally, the incidence of age-related cataracts is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Diabetes mellitus is also a growing concern, with diabetic cortical cataracts being a frequent complication. Hydroxytyrosol has been found to have a neuroprotective effect on diabetic retinopathy and has shown promising results in improving cardiovascular biomarkers.


Hydroxytyrosol has the advantage of being able to cross the blood-brain barrier, making it a potentially effective treatment for eye conditions. The lens also has its own internal microcirculation system, which can actively deliver antioxidants to different regions. This suggests that selecting antioxidants that can utilize this system may be key to developing novel nutritional therapies for delaying the onset and progression of lens cataract. However, more clinical studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of antioxidants in eye care. The chemical structure of hydroxytyrosol makes it an ideal candidate for further investigation.