Eating pineapple clears up eye floaters: Taiwanese study

Taiwanese researchers find eating pineapple clears up eye floaters

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(Photo by flickr user Marco Verch)

(Photo by flickr user Marco Verch)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A recent study carried out in Taiwan and published in the April edition of The Journal of American Science, has found eating pineapple regularly can significantly reduce eye floaters.

Eye floaters are dark spots that appear in one's vision and are "caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance (vitreous) inside your eyes becomes more liquid," according to the Mayo Clinic. As the vitreous shrinks with age, microscopic fibers form inside and tend to clump, casting tiny shadows on the retina.

The experiment, which was carried out by the Department of Pharmacy at Tajen University, the Department of Ophthalmology at Fooying University Hospital, the Kaohsiung City Government, and the School of Optometry at Chung Shan Medical Hospital, sought to see the if eating a set amount of pineapples could decrease the presence of eye floaters. A total of 388 subjects, with an average age of 42, were divided into three groups, which were given low, medium, and high doses of pineapples ranging from 100 to 300 grams over the course of three months.

After lunch every day from March 2016 to June 2016, each of the subjects was asked to eat one to three slices of pineapple, weighing about 100 grams each. In Experiment 1, 120 subjects were classified into Group 1 (one floater) and 70 in Group 2 (multiple floaters) and all were given 2 slices of pineapple during the three-month period.


(GoodFreePhotos image)

In Experiment 2, 198 subjects were randomly classified into three groups based in pineapple intake: low (one slice), medium (two slices), and high (three slices).

After three months, researchers found that out of the 120 subjects in Group 1 of Experiment 1 who took part, only 35 still reported having eye floaters, meaning that 70.8 percent had noted an improvement. In Group 2 of Experiment 1, only 19 still reported seeing multiple eye floaters, demonstrating that 72.8 had experienced an improvement in their vision.

In Experiment 2, it was found that the higher the dosage, the greater the result. Eye floaters disappeared by 54.5 percent in the low pineapple group, 62.2 percent for the medium pineapple group, and 69.8 percent for the high pineapple group.

Researchers believe that enzymes in the pineapples may decompose the extracellular substances that cause microscopic fibers to form. They also believe the enzymes could scavenge free radicals which could result in hyaluronic acid degradation and vitreous floater formation.


(Photo from flickr user Tim Sackton)

Hsieh Po-chuan (謝博銓), a professor at Tajen University's Department of Pharmacy who participated in the study told ETtoday that many enzymes or proteins extracted from pineapples in the past have provided pharmaceutical properties such as to countering inflammation, edema, thrombosis, and fibrinolysis. These extracts from pineapples have been used to treat acute inflammation, exercise injuries, cardiovascular abnormalities, menstrual abnormalities, pulmonary edema, obesity, and prevent colorectal cancer.

Researcher Horng Chi-ting (洪啟庭) told ETtoday that it could be possible that pineapple enzymes decompose extracellular substances in the microfibers and effectively hydrolyze them. He said the enzymes may also reduce vitreous pull, retinal holes, and even prevent retinal detachment and blindness.

He added that pineapples contain Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can inhibit oxidation of the lens and prevent cataracts.