Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness and visual disability globally among working-age adults. Until recently, diabetic eye disease is primarily regarded by its microvasculature complications largely characterized by progressive retinopathy and macular edema. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress and inflammation play an integral role in the early pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy by potentiating retinal neurodegeneration. The onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus starts with insulin resistance leading to insulin deficiency, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. Which in turn enhances the pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory pathways. Additionally, various poor dietary behaviors along with obesity worsen physiological state in diabetics. However, decreased levels and depletion of the endogenous antioxidant defense system in the retina can be sufficiently augmented via carotenoid vitamin therapy. Therefore, dietary supplementation of antioxidant micronutrients particularly macular carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin that promote retinal health and optimal visual performance, may serve as an adjunctive therapy in the management of diabetic eye disease.
Part of the book: Antioxidants