Diabetic cataracts and flavonoids

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Science  14 Jan 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4274, pp. 205-206
DOI: 10.1126/science.401544


Oral administration of quercitrin, an inhibitor of aldose reductase, leads to a significant decrease in the accumulation of sorbitol in the lens of diabetic Octodon degus. The onset of cataract is effectively delayed when quercitrin is continuously administered. Thus in these diabetic animals, as in galactosemic rats, the use of an effective aldose reductase inhibitor impedes the course of cataract development. These observations support the hypothesis that in diabetes, as in galactosemia, aldose reductase plays a key role in initiating the formation of lens opacity.

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