The effects of antioxidants on ocular blood flow in patients with glaucoma

Acta Ophthalmol. 2018 Mar;96(2):e237-e241. doi: 10.1111/aos.13530. Epub 2017 Aug 3.


Purpose: To investigate the effects of an antioxidant dietary supplement that includes Ginkgo biloba, on retinal and retrobulbar blood flow in patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG).

Methods: Forty-five patients with confirmed OAG were enroled in a randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study. Baseline and postadministration measurements of intraocular pressure (IOP), ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), retrobulbar blood flow, and retinal capillary blood flow were non-invasively measured (ultrasound and laser Doppler modalities, respectively) before and one month after antioxidant nutraceuticals and placebo administration. Changes in measurements between the active supplement and placebo arms were evaluated using paired t-tests, with p < 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Results: Antioxidant supplementation produced a statistically significant increase in peak systolic and/or end diastolic blood flow velocities in all retrobulbar blood vessels compared to placebo. Vascular resistance was also reduced in central retinal and nasal short posterior ciliary arteries following antioxidant administration. Additionally, antioxidant supplementation increased superior and inferior temporal retinal capillary mean blood flow and the ratio of active to non-active retina capillaries compared to placebo.

Conclusion: One-month oral administration of antioxidants produced increases in biomarkers of ocular blood flow within retinal and retrobulbar vascular beds in patients with OAG.

Keywords: antioxidants; dietary supplement; glaucoma; ocular blood flow; vitamins.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Ciliary Arteries / physiology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Artery / physiology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Retinal Artery / physiology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ginkgo biloba extract