RMIT University
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Retinal Benefits of Lutein from Gac (Momordica cochinchinensis) Fruit Peel

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posted on 2024-05-28, 23:57 authored by Thi Dao Nguyen
The eye is responsible for vision but is vulnerable to decline, injury and disease. At the commencement of this project, there were a few natural products recommended by clinicians as beneficial for eye health (AREDS2, 2014; AREDS2, 2022). This project aimed to investigate the potential of biomaterials capable of improving eye health and managing eye diseases, and it was identified based on in vitro, animal studies and clinical trials that lutein was a major biomaterial capable of promoting eye health particularly age related macular degeneration (AMD) (Chapter 1a). The thesis further examined lutein-rich sources, highlighting a novel and exotic Asian plant source called gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis) (Chapter 1b). Advancements and limitations in the extraction and formulation methods of lutein were elucidated (Chapter 1b). The optimisation of lutein extraction from gac fruit were investigated and involved three key parameters: KOH concentration, extraction temperature, and extraction time (Chapter 2). Lutein extracts from gac demonstrated effectiveness in protecting retina pigment epithelium (RPE) cells against H2O2-induced stress (Chapter 3). The lutein was developed as natural nanomaterials that could be clinically used as injectables and topical medicines for improved eye health (Chapter 4). Results from this study contributes to knowledge in natural product assessment and alternative ophthalmic treatments, introduces potential shorter route of administration for lutein in the context of retinal diseases, with the prospect of its application as a healthcare product.


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Doctorate by Research


© Thi Dao Nguyen 2024

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