The effect of flavonoids on visual function in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2015 Nov;253(11):1841-50. doi: 10.1007/s00417-015-3168-y. Epub 2015 Sep 4.


Background: Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. A major symptom of this pathology is the loss to the visual field in a peripheral to central pattern. Flavonoids are polyphenol compounds sourced from plants, commonly found in green tea, red wine and cocoa, and they have neuroprotective and antioxidant characteristics proposed to be advantageous within the context of glaucoma. Currently, the literature presents conflicting evidence regarding the effect of flavonoids on patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension; hence a systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted.

Method: Databases included in our literature search were EMBASE (1980-present), MEDLINE Ovid, Alternative and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5 (Review Manager) 5 software, version 5.3 (The Nordic Cochrane Centre, The Cochrane Collaboration, Copenhagen). The primary outcomes were visual field mean deviation (MD) and intraocular pressure (IOP). Secondary outcomes were ocular blood flow and blood pressure (BP).

Conclusion: Meta-analyses showed that flavonoids have a promising role in improving visual function in patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT), and appear to play a part in both improving and slowing the progression of visual field loss.

Keywords: Blood flow; Glaucoma; Intraocular pressure; Polyphenol; Visual field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy*
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Ocular Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Ocular Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects*
  • Visual Fields / drug effects


  • Flavonoids