Natural compounds: evidence for a protective role in eye disease

Can J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jun;42(3):425-38.


Glaucoma often progresses despite lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) to acceptable or normal levels; it can also develop at normal or even low IOP on the basis of non-IOP-dependent risk factors. Therefore, a need exists for therapies limiting damage due to glaucoma that are independent of therapies that simply lower IOP. The aim of neuroprotection in glaucoma is to slow progression by blocking the mechanisms that lead to apoptosis. Many compounds have been described as neuroprotective, but the lack of availability of specific neuroprotectant compounds and the lack of clinical trials examining the benefits of neuroprotective agents for glaucoma limit their current therapeutic use. There are, however, many available natural compounds that offer the possibility of neuroprotective activity. This review summarizes the potential benefits of natural compounds in the treatment of eye disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Eye Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*


  • Biological Products
  • Neuroprotective Agents