You Are What You Eat: Preventive Roles of Antioxidant Phytochemicals on Age-related Eye Diseases

John E. Moyegbone *

Department of Optometry, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

Eghonghon E. Onoikhua

Department of Optometry, Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.

Favour A. Fregene

College of Medical and Health Sciences, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, Nigeria.

Kingsley N. Jacob

Department of Medical Services, Abia State Ministry of Health, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria.

Israel O. Efejene

College of Medical and Health Sciences, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, Nigeria.

Edmond I. Anowa

College of Medical and Health Sciences, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, Nigeria.

Omatseye A. Akuirene

College of Medical and Health Sciences, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, Nigeria.

Emmanuel E. Agege

College of Medical and Health Sciences, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, Nigeria.

Joseph O. Odoko

College of Medical and Health Sciences, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, Nigeria.

Ezekiel U. Nwose

College of Medical and Health Sciences, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State, Nigeria and School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW, Austrialia.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aim: What we eat plays a vital role in human health with no exception to the eye which results to either good or poor vision. This review aimed at determining how what we eat affect age-related eye diseases and the role of antioxidants in phytochemical compound in preventing age-related eye diseases.

Study Design: A non-systematic review and evaluation of published literatures was done through web search engines such as PubMed and Google Scholar using Mendeley reference library for citation.

Methodology: A total of 48 articles were reviewed using the key words such as ‘’you are what you eat,’’ Age-related eye diseases, Antioxidants, Phytochemical compounds, Oxidative Stress and Free Radicals

Results: Increased consumption of energy-dense foods such as refined grains, processed meats, added sugar and saturated fatty foods might increase the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, chronically elevated blood glucose, chronic systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and increased protein damage leading to initiation and progression of systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart related diseases, as well as age-related eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Findings also showed that many botanical compounds such as curcumin, lutein and zeaxanthin, ginseng, and many more, present in food exhibit strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic properties that helps in ameliorating the destructive roles of oxidative stress.

Conclusion: Phytochemicals with proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, such as carotenoids and polyphenols, could be of benefit in preventing age-related eye diseases. Consumption of products containing these phytochemicals is recommended to provide noninvasive alternatives for protection, prevention and treatments of the major systemic and age-related eye diseases.

Keywords: Age-related eye diseases, antioxidants, oxidative stress, free radicals, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration

How to Cite

Moyegbone, J. E., Onoikhua, E. E., Fregene, F. A., Jacob, K. N., Efejene, I. O., Anowa, E. I., Akuirene, O. A., Agege, E. E., Odoko, J. O., & Nwose, E. U. (2023). You Are What You Eat: Preventive Roles of Antioxidant Phytochemicals on Age-related Eye Diseases. European Journal of Medicinal Plants, 34(10), 12–25.


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