Drugs that are used for lowering cholesterol have been found to be useful for the eyes too. A new study suggests that the anti-cholesterol statin drugs are helpful in improving the blood circulation in the retina thereby reducing the risk of diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases as well.
According to foodconsumer.org, the Japanese study included 12 healthy men, average age 21 years, who received either a daily 20-milligram dose of the statin drug simvastatin (Zocor) or a placebo for seven days. The blood flow in the men's retinal arteries was measured at the start of the study, 90 minutes after taking the drug the first day, and at the end of the seven days of treatment.
The researchers also checked the pressure inside the men's eyeballs (intraocular pressure).
This week-long treatment regimen was repeated again 28 days after the end of the first phase of the study.
The result: Blood flow and speed were significantly increased in men who took the statin for seven days, although the size of the retinal blood vessels didn't change. Intraocular pressure was reduced 90 minutes after taking the statin and after seven days of taking the drug.