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Eye and Vision Health

Natural Strategies for Preventing and Reversing Vision Loss

Cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related vision changes are major causes of vision loss. These eye diseases appear to have several common origins: free radical damage to various parts of the eye and nutrient deficiencies. People with diets low in antioxidants have been shown to have a higher rate of eye disease.

For example, people who take multi vitamins or other supplements containing vitamins C and E for more than 10 years have been reported to have a 60% lower risk of forming a cataract.

Vision loss does not have to be an inevitable aspect of aging. It is possible to maintain healthy eyes and vision well into old age by following some basic health measures.

Diet And Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Eat a diet high in "Super Foods" and antioxidant nutrients.
  • Decrease carbohydrates and simple sugars in the diet. This is especially important for preventing diabetic cataracts. Sugars bind with body proteins to produce AGES (Advanced Glycosylated End-products) that cause irreversible changes in the lens of the eye.
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of pure water daily. The vitreous portion of the eye has a high water content.
  • Wear high UV protection sunglasses.

Primary Support

  • Maxi Multi: 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Optimal (not minimal) doses of antioxidants (ACES), carotenes, B complex vitamins, selenium, zinc and bioflavonoids are particularly important for eye health.
  • Maxi Greens (Advanced Phytonutrient Formula): 3 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Bilberry, grape seed extract and ginkgo are particularly important, but plant flavonoids in general help protect the eyes.
  • Dr. Myatt’s Eye Drops from Hell: rinse eyes 2-4 times per day according to instructions. Use in all eye disease EXCEPT glaucoma. (It is unknown whether increasing general circulation to the eyes would adversely effect pressures).

Additional Support

Lack of normal stomach acid (low gastric acid) and resultant failure to absorb nutrients from diet and supplementation can contribute to eye disease. I recommend a Gastric Acid Self-Test for anyone concerned about vision and eye health.

Please refer to the following links for more in-depth information concerning individual eye diseases:

For Cataracts:

  • Melatonin: 1-3mg at bedtime.
  • Bilberry extract: 1 cap, 2-3 times per day with meals (Target dose range: 120-240mg or more per day).
  • Lipoic acid: 1 cap, 2-3 times per day with meals. (Target dose: 500mg per day).
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin 15 -20mg, 3 times per week. People with the highest intakes of these two carotenoids had only 1/2 the risk of developing cataracts as the general population. In one study, people who supplemented these carotendoids at the recommended dose has a significant improvement in age-related cataracts.
  • Vitamin C, E, B2 and B3 (these nutrients are present in a daily multiple such as Maxi Multi in sufficient amounts to prevent cataracts). Low doses of these nutrients are associated with higher rates of cataracts.

For Macular Degeneration : Find more information here.

  • Vitamin E (extra 200-400IU): once per day with a meal. (Target dose range: 600-800IU).
  • Lutein: 5-20mg per day.
  • One of the following:
    Grape Seed Extract: 150-300mg per day with meals.
    Bilberry extract: 1 cap, 2-3 times per day with meals (Target dose range: 120-240mg or more per day).
    Ginkgo: 120-240mg per day wtih meals.

For Glaucoma:

  • Ginkgo: 160mg per day for four weeks, then 120mg per day thereafter.
  • Forskolin (Coleus): 10-60mg per day. This herb can lower blood pressure. At higher doses, this effect can be too much for people with normal blood pressure. Monitor B.P. accordingly.

References

  1. Jacques PF, Chylack LT Jr. Epidemiologic evidence of a role for the antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids in cataract prevention. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:352S–5S.
  2. Mares-Perlman JA, Lyle BJ, Klein R, et al. Vitamin supplement use and incident cataracts in a population-based study. Arch Ophthalmol 2000;118:1556–63.
  3. Knekt P, Heliovaara M, Rissanen A, et al. Serum antioxidant vitamins and risk of cataract. BMJ 1992;305:1392–4.
  4. Bhat KS. Nutritional status of thiamine, riboflavin and pyridoxine in cataract patients. Nutr Rep Internat 1987;36:685–92.
  5. Prchal JT, Conrad ME, Skalka HW. Association of presenile cataracts with heterozygosity for galactosaemic states and with riboflavin deficiency. Lancet 1978; 1:12–3.
  6. Taylor A, Jacques PF, Nadler D, et al. Relationship in humans between ascorbic acid consumption and levels of total and reduced ascorbic acid in lens, aqueous humor, and plasma. Curr Eye Res 1991;10:751–9.
  7. Jacques PF, Chylack LT Jr. Epidemiologic evidence of a role for the antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids in cataract prevention. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:352S–5S.
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