Inhibiting Angiogenesis in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy

test for armd or angiogenesisWet Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy can lead to vision loss from angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the growth of unwanted blood vessels in the retina. These excess blood vessels obscure or distort vision and damage the eye. They can result in permanent damage if not treated, typically by injection of EyLea, Avastin, or Lucentis. Macular Degeneration (ARMD) and Diabetic Retinopathy are most prevalent among seniors over age 60. Are there any natural methods to help retard the growth of extra blood vessels in the eye?

Wet Macular Degeneration is the advanced form of the disease, affecting only 10-15% of ARMD patients. The “dry” form of Macular Degeneration is slower to damage vision. People who have Dry Macular Degeneration can buy time by following their eye doctor’s advice and trying natural antioxidant support. Wet Macular Degeneration patients can lose vision quickly. Therefore, they should be under an eye doctor’s continuous care. Additionally, keep reading this article about angiogenesis.

Diabetic Retinopathy affects about half of diabetic patients. Tight management of diabetes is the primary defense. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy means that new, fragile capillaries are growing, distorting vision, and may end up leaking.

Angiogenesis Research

Research into cancer can provide insight into angiogenesis. Malignant tumors must build a blood supply. Some branches of cancer research are targeting angiogenesis. Therefore, the tumor is starved. This same research could halt excess blood vessel growth in eye diseases such as Wet AMD and Diabetic Retinopathy.

In a 2006 study, researchers in Canada and the US examined natural substances that inhibited angiogenesis.1 They compiled a lengthy list of substances used as traditional anticancer treatments across the globe. Then, the researchers made a table of “Natural health products with potential direct and indirect anti-angiogenic activity.” “Anti-angiogenic” means they inhibit the growth of new blood vessels. They also made a table of substances that inhibit cyclo-oxygenase-2 activity (an enzyme that contributes to inflammation). Their report also compiled “Herbs and their derivatives that specifically inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor and have direct activity against angiogenesis.”

Vascular endothelial growth factor, or vegf, is a signal protein that cells make. They tell the body to make new blood vessels. Many of the herbs inhibit new blood vessel growth by dampening the amount of vegf that cells produce.

Angiogenesis and Dr. Grossman’s Blood Vessel Control Formula

Marc Grossman read the study and wanted to help his patients at risk of retinal angiogenesis. He developed Dr. Grossman’s Blood Vessel Control Formula based on the study results. This liquid herbal formula is taken by mouth, up to 3 times daily. The formula ingredients are:

  • 15% Artemisia annua (Chinese wormwood) 1:5 ratio of herb to menstruum (alcohol or alcohol/water)
  • 15% Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap) 1:5
  • 15% Grape extract (skin and seed) 1:5
  • 15% Magnolia officinalis (Chinese magnolia tree) 1:10
  • 15% Curcuma longa (tumeric) 1:5
  • 3.125% Angelica sinensis (dong quai) 1:5
  • 3.125% Camellia sinensis (green tea) 1:5
  • 3.125% Ginkgo biloba 1:5
  • 3.125% Silybum marianum (milk thistle) 1:5
  • 3.125% Poria cocos 1:5
  • 3.125% Zingiber officinalis (ginger) 1:5
  • 3.125% Panax ginseng 1:5
  • 3.125% Cinnamon 1:5
  • Formula is based in 30% GMO-free alcohol

All of the above ingredients were in the 2006 study, except for dong quai, ginger, and cinnamon. They were added for blood support and as potent antioxidants.

Chinese Wormwood

A planet extract, Chinese Wormwood Artemisinin was found in animal studies to inhibit vegf. 2 Therefore, this compound helps reduce unwanted new blood vessel growth.

Scutellaria Baicalensis (Chinese Skullcap)

The Chinese herb Skullcap contains baicalin and baicalein. These compounds protect against unwanted blood vessel growth.3

Grape Extract (Skin and Seed)

Grape skin is especially high in Resveratrol. This phytoalexin is an antioxidant that reduces vegf and therefore inhibits new blood vessel growth.4

Grape seed extract is a potent antioxidant, prized for its anti-aging effects throughout the body.

Magnolia Officinalis (Chinese Magnolia Tree)

Chinese Magnolia Tree seed cones contain honokiol, which partially reduces new blood vessel growth.5

Curcuma Longa (Turmeric/Curcumin)

A yellow spice, turmeric reduces both vegf and bfgf (another angiogenesis factor).6 Turmeric also downregulates the expression of two genes associated with angiogenesis.7

Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)

Rich in catechins and polyphenols, green tea has many anti-cancer properties. Significant research into green tea has found it decreases vegf, helping to halt angiogenesis. 8

Ginkgo Biloba

Common in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ginkgo Biloba is high in beneficial flavonoids. Ginkgo extract inhibits new blood vessel growth.9

Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle)

A common weed, milk thistle’s seeds and fruit contain flavonoids that inhibit new blood vessel growth.10

Poria Cocos

Extracted from mushrooms, poria cocos appears to inhibit angiogenesis.

Panax Ginseng

Research has shown that ginsenosides in ginseng have anti-angiogenesis properties.11

Where to Get Dr Grossman’s Blood Vessel Support Formula

Dr. Grossman’s Blood Vessel Support Formula is available on the Natural Eye Care website. The formula can be purchased individually or as part of a support package:

  • Sugar Balance & Blood Vessel Support Package – helps balance blood sugar, insulin sensitivity, pancreas. Helps reduce inflammation and strengthen blood vessels. Viteyes Optic Nerve Support Formula, Dr. Grossman’s Blood Vessel Support Formula, GlycoEase, Resveratrol with Quercetin, and Krill Oil. 1-month supply3-month supply.
  • AMD Package 4G – supplements aimed at reducing angiogenesis risk and strengthening the retina. Advanced Eye and Vision Support Formula, Krill Oil Complex, Vitamin D3, and Dr. Grossman’s Blood Vessel Formula. 1-month supply. 3-month supply.
  1. Journal ListCurr Oncolv.13(1); 2006 Feb PMC1891166 “Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer–Part 1”
    S.M. Sagar, MD, D. Yance, MH, and R.K. Wong, MD
  2. Aldieri E, Atragene D, Bergandi L, et al. Artemisinin inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor nf-κb activation. FEBS Lett. 2003;552:141–4.
  3. Liu JJ, Huang TS, Cheng WF, Lu FJ. Baicalein and baicalin are potent inhibitors of angiogenesis: inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation, migration and differentiation. Int J Cancer. 2003;106:559–65.
  4. Cao Y, Fu ZD, Wang F, Liu HY, Han R. Anti-angiogenic activity of resveratrol, a natural compound from medicinal plants. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2005;7:205–13.
  5. Bai X, Cerimele F, Ushio–Fukai M, et al. Honokiol, a small molecular weight natural product, inhibits angiogenesis in vitro and tumour growth in vivo. J Biol Chem. 2003;278:35501–7.
  6. Arbiser JL, Klauber N, Rohan R, et al. Curcumin is an in vivo inhibitor of angiogenesis. Mol Med. 1998;4:376–83
  7. Kim JH, Shim JS, Lee SK, et al. Microarray-based analysis of anti-angiogenic activity of demethoxycurcumin on human umbilical vein endothelial cells: crucial involvement of the down-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase. Jpn J Cancer Res. 2002;93:1378–85.
  8. Tang FY, Nguyen N, Meydani M. Green tea catechins inhibit vegf-induced angiogenesis in vitro through suppression of ve-cadherin phosphorylation and inactivation of akt molecule. Int J Cancer. 2003;106:871–8.
  9. Zhang L, Rui YC, Yang PY, Qiu Y, Li TJ, Liu HC. Inhibitory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on vascular endothelial growth factor in rat aortic endothelial cells. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002;23:919–23.
  10. Jiang C, Agarwal R, Lu J. Antiangiogenic potential of a cancer chemopreventive flavonoid antioxidant, silymarin: inhibition of key attributes of vascular endothelial cells and angiogenic cytokine secretion by cancer epithelial cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000;276:371–8.
  11. Sato K, Mochizuki M, Saiki I, Yoo YC, Samukawa K, Azuma I. Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis by a saponin of panax ginseng, ginsenoside-Rb2. Biol Pharm Bull. 1994;17:635–9.