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Eye Cells Keep Little Reserve Energy – So Protection Is Essential

New research has found a possible way to catch eye cell TOIL before it hits – by measuring mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in the retinas. Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., chief of NEI’s Neurobiology-Neurodegeneration and Repair Laboratory toldScience Daily about a study his team conducted on photoreceptors in lab mice.

Swaroop found that mice photoreceptors functioned at 70-80% of capacity – leaving very little reserve energy – suggesting that these cells are in a perpetual state of highoxidative stress.

“It’s like when a rubber band gets stretched all the way to the point where adding just a little more force breaks it.”

Swaroop identifies a new technique for measuring oxygen consumption in eye cells. He and his team also identify glucose as a major energy source for retinal mitochondria. Accurately measuring the mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate in the retina may help healthcare providers identify over-stressed cells before breakdowns in visual acuity occur.

We would like to think this kind of research would open healthcare providers’ minds to the need for antioxidants and other nutrients to protect hard-working eye cells. Keeping our fair members in the know is the next best thing though!