The potential of marine resources for retinal diseases: a systematic review of the molecular mechanisms

Kristin Krueger, Elke Boehme, Alexa Karina Klettner, Marietta Zille*

*Corresponding author for this work


We rely on vision more than on any other sense to obtain information about our environment. Hence, the loss or even impairment of vision profoundly affects our quality of life. Diet or food components have already demonstrated beneficial effects on the development of retinal diseases. Recently, there has been a growing interest in resources from marine animals and plants for the prevention of retinal diseases through nutrition. Especially fish intake and omega-3 fatty acids have already led to promising results, including associations with a reduced incidence of retinal diseases. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are insufficiently explained. The aim of this review was to summarize the known mechanistic effects of marine resources on the pathophysiological processes in retinal diseases. We performed a systematic literature review following the PRISMA guidelines and identified 107 studies investigating marine resources in the context of retinal diseases. Of these, 46 studies described the underlying mechanisms including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiangiogenic/vasoprotective, cytoprotective, metabolic, and retinal function effects, which we critically summarize. We further discuss perspectives on the use of marine resources for human nutrition to prevent retinal diseases with a particular focus on regulatory aspects, health claims, safety, and bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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