Researchers seek to find link between Chinese wolfberries, vision improvement in Type 2 diabetics

KANSAS CITY, Kan. A Kansas State University researcher is exploring the use of a fruit and its effect on vision deficiencies that are common for Type 2 diabetics.

Dingbo "Daniel" Lin, research assistant professor of human nutrition, is studying wolfberries and their potential to improve damage to the retina. Lin said the fruit may lower the oxidative stress -- "known as cell impairment of the production of reactive oxygen" -- that the eye undergoes as a result of Type 2 diabetes. The fruit, he added, is known to help rebalance homeostasis, boost the immune system, nourish the liver and kidneys and improve vision.

"I would not say that wolfberries are a medicine, but they can be used as a dietary supplement to traditional treatments to improve vision," Lin said. "Wolfberries have high antioxidant activity and are very beneficial to protect against oxidative stress caused by environmental stimuli and genetic mutations.

The research has been presented at the 2009 Experimental Biology conference and 2009 American Society of Cell Biology Conference. The project is funded by a grant from K-State's Center of Biomedical Research Excellence.

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