Health Benefits of Polyphenols and Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Diseases

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Feb 12:2019:9783429. doi: 10.1155/2019/9783429. eCollection 2019.


Oxidative stress and inflammation play a critical role in the initiation and progression of age-related ocular abnormalities as cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Therefore, phytochemicals with proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, such as carotenoids and polyphenols, could be of benefit in these diseases. We searched PubMed and Web of Science databases for original studies investigating the benefits of different carotenoids and polyphenols in age-related ophthalmic diseases. Our results showed that several polyphenols (such as anthocyanins, Ginkgo biloba, quercetin, and resveratrol) and carotenoids (such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and mezoxanthin) have shown significant preventive and therapeutic benefits against the aforementioned conditions. The involved mechanisms in these findings include mitigating the production of reactive oxygen species, inhibiting the tumor necrosis factor-α and vascular endothelial growth factor pathways, suppressing p53-dependent apoptosis, and suppressing the production of inflammatory markers, such as interleukin- (IL-) 8, IL-6, IL-1a, and endothelial leucocyte adhesion molecule-1. Consumption of products containing these phytochemicals may be protective against these diseases; however, adequate human data are lacking. This review discusses the role and mechanisms of polyphenols and carotenoids and their possible synergistic effects on the prevention and treatment of age-related eye diseases that are induced or augmented by oxidative stress and inflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Carotenoids / therapeutic use*
  • Eye Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Eye Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Polyphenols / therapeutic use*


  • Polyphenols
  • Carotenoids