Antioxidants (2006) Protect Cones in Animal Model


Why the negative affect of high dose vitamin E on RP function? It is possible that high dose vitamin E might have inhibited the absorption or transport of vitamin A, since patients receiving high doses had slight but significant decreases in serum A levels compared with those receiving lower doses in the 1993 Harvard study.

However, further exploratory studies of combined antioxidants in RP patients may be warranted. A recent study in an animal model of RP found that high dose antioxidants (vitamins E, C, alpha lipoic acid others) significantly reduced oxidative damage in cones, increased cone cell density and preserved cone function. These results, according to the Johns Hopkins authors, suggest that the gradual cone death that occurs after rod cells die is due to oxidative damage, and that antioxidants could provide benefit.

Komeima K, et al. Antioxidants reduce cone cell death in a model of retinitis pigmentosa. PNAS 103:1130-35, 2006.

Learn more about retinitis pigmentosa.