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Whole Food Therapy Presentation
Moira Khouri NC MH HHP CCP RYT
Supporting Eye Health with Foods & Nutrients
“Drugs and surgery do not correct or eliminate the causes of eye diseases, which
are often individual and multifactorial.” Glen Swartwout,O.D.
In this presentation we'll learn about holistic nutrition that will protect and support
healthy eyesight. Eyesight can be affected by many factors in our lives. To understand
how and why vision may be diminished and what we can do about this we’ll first look at
the basic anatomy of the eye, then the vision disorders and causes. Finally, we’ll learn
about the nutritional interventions we can use in our daily lives that will support great
vision and protect us from age-related diminishing eyesight.
Basic Eye Anatomy 101
Rays of light enter the eye through the cornea, the outermost layer, and reach the lens
of the eye located just behind the cornea, which is a transparent covering. The cornea
focuses the light as it travels into the retina. The retina is actually an extension of our
brain and is lined with photoreceptor neurons called rods and cones. Rods respond to
dim light; cones are stimulated by bright light and are specialized to detect color. The
macula is the area of the retina that has the most photosensitive cells and is responsible
for our central vision. The retina collects the light through these photosensitive cells
(cells that are sensitive to rays of light) that send impulses to the ganglia, a group of
nerve cells near the front of the retina. The ganglia lead to the optic nerve which
transmits impulses to the visual center in the occipital lobe of the brain. Surrounding the
eyeball is the choroid, an outer layer filled with capillaries which are responsible for
transporting the nutrients required for vision health to the eye.
Vision Disorders and Their Causes
The eye’s health is dependent on healthy neurological and cardiovascular systems.
The images obtained by the eye are transferred by electrical impulses to the brain and
transformed into visual images. The cardiovascular system provides oxygen-rich blood
and removes waste products. There are many causes of vision disorders including
nutritional deficiencies, body toxicity, Candida yeast and parasitic infections, drugs,
alcohol, smoking, environmental pollution, poor lighting, physical strain, poor dental
condition, poor posture and even emotional stress. Some vision disorders are
anatomical in nature. For example, nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism
all often result from a refractive error, a deflection of the ray of light from a straight path
as it travels through the anatomical structure of the eye.
Nearsightedness (Myopia)
When the visual image falls in front of the retina of the eye, we are unable to focus on
distant objects, our distance vision is impaired. This may be due to the eyeball being
longer than normal, a steeply curved cornea, or an inability of the lens to relax
sufficiently.
Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
When the visual image focuses behind the retina we are unable to focus on nearby
objects. This may be due to the eyeball being shorter than normal, the cornea being too
flat, poor muscle tone in the ciliary muscle which controls the lens, or it may be due to a
combination of these issues.
Astigmatism
When the shape of the cornea is more oval than round the eye tends to focus on two
points rather than one causing blurry vision, fatigue and headaches.
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
Usually beginning in childhood this condition occurs when one eye functions at lower
capacity than the other and the brain receives dissimilar information from each eye. An
example of this is that one eye could be myopic and one astigmatic. The brain begins
to favor one eye, focusing on a single image, causing some atrophy in the other eye,
and diminished vision over time.
Night Blindness
Often a symptom of retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that causes deterioration of the rods,
(the cells that respond to dim light and help to distinguish light and dark) and
progressive loss of vision. Night blindness is also linked to poor liver function.
Vitamin A and Zinc deficiencies may also be a cause of night blindness.
Cataracts
This is a partial or complete clouding of the lens of the eye and the leading cause of
blindness, mostly occurring in adults but it can occur at any age. Risk factors include
diabetes, exposure to radiation or infrared light, medications such as steroids and
cortisone, injuries and diseases. Studies have found that people whose eyes contained
higher amounts of lutein were up to 80% less likely to have cataracts. (ONB pg 151)
Cataracts may also be linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and protein
imbalances.
Macular Degeneration
This condition is a result of degeneration of the macula, the area of the retina that has
the most photosensitive cells and is responsible for our central vision. It is the most
common cause of severe vision loss in those over 55 years of age, and risks increase
for those over 65 year of age. Risk factors for MD may include atherosclerosis, a
hardening of the inner arterial walls due to deposits of fatty and protein substances and
hypertension (high blood pressure).
Macular degeneration may also be linked to nutritional deficiencies, chemical
exposure and cigarette smoking.
Glaucoma
This is a group of conditions that cause loss of peripheral vision, and usually include an
increase in the fluid pressure within the eye. It can go undetected in the early stages
due to being asymptomatic. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in older adults.
Aging is one risk factor. Risk factors include serious eye injuries and surgeries, tumors
of the eye, and some medications such as steroids. Risk also seems to increase with
early menopause, before age 45. Researchers in the Netherlands found women who
experienced early menopause were found to be twice as likely to develop glaucoma,
compared to women who were menopausal after age 50. The researchers believed
that female hormones play a protective role. (Alternative Medicine pg. 940)
Other causes may be nutritional deficiencies in the retina and optic nerve and an
excess of toxins and metabolic waste in the body systems.
Retinal Detachment
This is a peeling away of the retina from the back of the eyeball that can result in
blindness. This occurs when a hole or tear in the retina allows fluid to seep through and
pool between the retina and the back of the eye. This may be caused by injuries to the
eyes.
Retinopathy
This is a serious visual disorder that occurs when there is a hemorrhage of the retinal
blood vessels.
This is usually associated with hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes,
and is a major cause of blindness in diabetics.
Food and Nutrition for Eye Health
According to Dr. Glen Swartwout, O.D. many eye diseases are linked to nutritional
deficiencies cause by poor dietary habits. Specific foods and substances such as eggs,
sugar, dairy products, unhealthy fats, fried foods, processed foods laden with additives
and preservatives, wheat, acidic foods, alcohol, coffee and tobacco are all implicated.
As mentioned above, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are linked to
vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
An interesting fact is that the pH of our blood (the acid/alkaline balance) has an effect
on our eye health. If the pH is too acidic it affects our muscle tone and turns the eyes
inward. If the pH is too alkaline it will also interfere with muscle tone, causing the eyes
to turn outward. The muscles that control eye movements and our vision health are
affected by our nutritional choices. Dr. Swartwout has had great success within four
weeks in 2/3 of his patients simply by making changes in their diet, health habits and
with nutritional supplementation. This experience is supported by other doctors who
have helped their patients in the same way. Balance is the key to good health.
Dietary Factors
Consumption of sugars, refined, processed chemical laden foods and “junk” food
contribute to eye disease, as it does throughout the entire body. For prevention a diet
of organic whole fresh natural foods, minimally processed foods, vitamin and mineral
supplementation is recommended.
Recent research implicates oxidative stress as a cause of major eye diseases.
Consuming foods with antioxidants and supplementation with antioxidants is therefore
very important to protect your eye health. Also at the top of the list for vision health are
the carotenoids and bioflavonoids.
Carotenoids
More than 600 carotenoids have been found in red, yellow, green and orange
vegetables and fruits. Especially important to vision health are Lutein and Zeaxanthin
which have highly anti-oxidative properties and help vascular changes in the macula,
and decrease age related macular degeneration. Lycopene is a carotenoid and a
powerful antioxidant that is helpful in vision health. Anthocyanins help to reduce
intraocular pressure and help to maintain collagen, the main component of the lens, and
the connective tissue that supports the eye. Astaxanthin protects the retinal tissues
from oxidative stress caused by light, helps maintain appropriate eye pressure levels
and supports the eye’s energy levels and visual acuity.
Cooking your leafy green vegetables on low heat can actually increase the
bioavailability of lutein and zeaxanthin by breaking the cell walls and the carotenoid
protein complexes. Below are the best food sources for Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Lycopene,
Anthocyanins and Astaxanthin.
Lutein
Found in leafy green vegetables, especially kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard
greens, spinach, Swiss chard, red peppers, beets, parsley, romaine lettuce, dill, celery,
carrots, squash, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, green peas, red, blue and purple fruits such
as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and plums, papaya, oranges and
eggs.
Zeaxanthin
Found in kale, spinach, collard and mustard greens, Swiss chard, red peppers, beets,
red, blue and purple fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries
and plums.
Lycopene
Found in tomatoes, tomato juice and sauces, watermelon, guava, pink grapefruit, green
peppers, dried apricots and carrots.
Anthocyanins
Found in red, blue and purple plant foods such as beets, blueberries, raspberries,
strawberries, blackberries and plums. Black current and bilberry are the absolute best
sources for eye health.
Astaxanthin
Found in salmon, lobster, krill, crab and other shellfish with a pink or reddish color.
Bioflavonoid Rich Foods
Bioflavonoids are found in high concentrations in citrus fruits, blueberries, blackberries,
dark skinned grapes, Indian Gooseberry, cherries, cranberries, Acerola cherry,
elderberry, mango and pomegranate. These plant compounds have both antioxidant
and anti-inflammatory properties. They improve night vision and adaptation to the dark,
visual acuity and capillary integrity to reduce hemorrhage in diabetic retinopathy.
Antioxidant Rich Foods
The best sources are prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, strawberries,
spinach, raspberries, broccolini, plums, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, avocados, and
spices and herbs such as turmeric and Ginko Biloba.
Supplements for Vision Health
It is important to use only whole food sourced supplements for proper absorption and
utilization by the body. Synthetic supplements, while being much less costly, are also
much less effective. They are synthesized in labs from chemicals with similar molecular
structures however they are not the same, and cannot be properly assimilated by the
body. Your body can only recognize and assimilate the naturally derived forms of
nutrients. Getting most of your nutrients from whole foods is ideal. However
supplementation helps to bridge any nutritional gaps and provide additional nutritional
support for healing some conditions.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - 1400 mg EPA and 1000 mg DHA daily. Helps prevent arteries
of the heart and eye by reducing inflammation. Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna,
halibut, sardines and mackerel are good sources.
Coenzyme Q10 - 50 – 100 mg daily. Combined with N-acetyl-carnitine and Omega-3
fatty acids the nutrient mix stabilized visual functions in patients age related macular
degeneration.
Lipoic Acid - 150 – 300 mg daily. Lipoic Acid is a very powerful antioxidant that helps
with reducing free radical damage and oxidative stress.
Selenium - 200 – 400 mcg daily. An essential trace mineral with antioxidant properties
that protects cellular integrity and cell membranes, protects from free radical damage,
helps prevent cataracts, and when combined with Vit. E it helps visual acuity in patients
with macular degeneration.
Vitamin C - 1000 – 3000 mg daily. Helps reduce intraocular pressure in high doses. An
important antioxidant for the eyes, improves vision in those with cataracts. May help to
slow the progression of glaucoma.
B Vitamins - At least 50 mg of each daily. Protect cardiovascular system. Deficiency
of B12, folic acid, and niacin has been seen in glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age
related macular degeneration. B vitamins store poorly in the body so must be ingested
regularly.
Zinc - 15 – 30 mg daily. Helps maintain the integrity of the immune system, and
carbohydrate and protein metabolism. The retina has the highest concentration of any
organ in the body, good for normal vision function, adaptation to the dark and reduces
visual loss in macular degeneration.
Vitamin A - 4000 – 5000 IU daily. Required by the photoreceptors in the retina, helps
maintain health of rods and cones in the retina. Do not use synthetic forms of Vitamin A.
Vitamin E - 400 IU daily. Large doses can prevent macular degeneration. Deficiency
leads to cataracts. Do not use synthetic forms of Vitamin E.
N-acetyl-cysteine - An antioxidant that helps prevent cataracts and degenerative
changes in the eye.
N-acetyl-carnosine - Administered topically in eye drops 3 to 4 times daily, it moves
into the water soluble and lipid containing parts of the eye helping to prevent DNA
damage.
Taurine - an amino acid that protects from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light.
Ginko Biloba - An herb with antioxidant properties that improves arterial blood flow and
enhances cellular metabolism; helps prevent degenerative changes in the eye. It is
available in a dried herb form to use as tea, and may also be found in a tincture form
which can be added to water, use according to directions on the label.
Bilberry -100 mg daily. Effective in vascular disorders, contains flavonoids and
antioxidants that increase microcirculation and supports retinal function, helps to reduce
intraocular pressure and to maintain collagen, the main component of the lens, and the
connective tissue that supports the eye. Recently many studies have been done on
Bilberry and its benefits to eye health.
References
Goldberg (2002). Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide. (2nd ed.). Berkey, CA: Celestial
Arts.
Holford, P. (2004). The New Optimum Nutrition Bible. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press.
Margen MD, S. (1992). The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition. New York, NY:
Random House Inc.
Marieb, E. N. (2006). Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology. (8th ed.). San Francisco, CA:
Pearson Education Inc.
Matt, M., & Zieman, J. (1982). The Human Anatomy Coloring Book. New York, NY: Dover
Publications Inc..
Merieb, E. N. (2006). Anatomy and Physiology Coloring Workbook. San Francisco, CA: Pearson
Education Inc..
Murray ND, M., Pizzorno ND, J., & Pizzorno MA LMT, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing
Foods. NewYork, NY: Atria Books.
Walker, R. (2005). BODY An Amazing Tour of Human Anatomy. New York, NY: DK Publishing
Inc..
Online References
Cataracts. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-030.shtml
Glaucoma. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://www.lef.org/protocols/eye_ear/glaucoma_01.htm
Healthy Eyes. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://www.lef.org/protocols/eye_ear/healthy_eyes_01.htm
Macular Degeneration. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://www.lef.org/protocols/eye_ear/macular_degeneration_01.htm
Mercola MD, J. (2011, May 14). Astaxanthin The World's Strongest Antioxidant. Dr. Joseph
Mercola. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/14/astaxanthin-the-worlds-
strongest-antioxidant.aspx
Mercola MD, J. (2010, June 26). Your Attitude Can Improve Your Eyesight. Dr. Joseph
Mercola. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/26/your-attitude-can-improve-
your-eyesight.aspx
Mercola MD, J. (2010, November 23). Astaxanthin The Eye Antioxidant. Dr. Joseph Mercola.
Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/23/astaxanthin-the-eye-
antioxidant-550-times-more-powerful-than-vitamin-e.aspx
Retinopathy. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from
http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-097.shtml

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Supporting eye health with food and nutrients

  • 1. Whole Food Therapy Presentation Moira Khouri NC MH HHP CCP RYT Supporting Eye Health with Foods & Nutrients “Drugs and surgery do not correct or eliminate the causes of eye diseases, which are often individual and multifactorial.” Glen Swartwout,O.D. In this presentation we'll learn about holistic nutrition that will protect and support healthy eyesight. Eyesight can be affected by many factors in our lives. To understand how and why vision may be diminished and what we can do about this we’ll first look at the basic anatomy of the eye, then the vision disorders and causes. Finally, we’ll learn about the nutritional interventions we can use in our daily lives that will support great vision and protect us from age-related diminishing eyesight. Basic Eye Anatomy 101 Rays of light enter the eye through the cornea, the outermost layer, and reach the lens of the eye located just behind the cornea, which is a transparent covering. The cornea focuses the light as it travels into the retina. The retina is actually an extension of our brain and is lined with photoreceptor neurons called rods and cones. Rods respond to dim light; cones are stimulated by bright light and are specialized to detect color. The macula is the area of the retina that has the most photosensitive cells and is responsible for our central vision. The retina collects the light through these photosensitive cells (cells that are sensitive to rays of light) that send impulses to the ganglia, a group of nerve cells near the front of the retina. The ganglia lead to the optic nerve which transmits impulses to the visual center in the occipital lobe of the brain. Surrounding the eyeball is the choroid, an outer layer filled with capillaries which are responsible for transporting the nutrients required for vision health to the eye.
  • 2. Vision Disorders and Their Causes The eye’s health is dependent on healthy neurological and cardiovascular systems. The images obtained by the eye are transferred by electrical impulses to the brain and transformed into visual images. The cardiovascular system provides oxygen-rich blood and removes waste products. There are many causes of vision disorders including nutritional deficiencies, body toxicity, Candida yeast and parasitic infections, drugs, alcohol, smoking, environmental pollution, poor lighting, physical strain, poor dental condition, poor posture and even emotional stress. Some vision disorders are anatomical in nature. For example, nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism all often result from a refractive error, a deflection of the ray of light from a straight path as it travels through the anatomical structure of the eye. Nearsightedness (Myopia) When the visual image falls in front of the retina of the eye, we are unable to focus on distant objects, our distance vision is impaired. This may be due to the eyeball being longer than normal, a steeply curved cornea, or an inability of the lens to relax sufficiently. Farsightedness (Hyperopia) When the visual image focuses behind the retina we are unable to focus on nearby objects. This may be due to the eyeball being shorter than normal, the cornea being too flat, poor muscle tone in the ciliary muscle which controls the lens, or it may be due to a combination of these issues. Astigmatism When the shape of the cornea is more oval than round the eye tends to focus on two points rather than one causing blurry vision, fatigue and headaches. Lazy Eye (Amblyopia) Usually beginning in childhood this condition occurs when one eye functions at lower capacity than the other and the brain receives dissimilar information from each eye. An example of this is that one eye could be myopic and one astigmatic. The brain begins to favor one eye, focusing on a single image, causing some atrophy in the other eye, and diminished vision over time.
  • 3. Night Blindness Often a symptom of retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that causes deterioration of the rods, (the cells that respond to dim light and help to distinguish light and dark) and progressive loss of vision. Night blindness is also linked to poor liver function. Vitamin A and Zinc deficiencies may also be a cause of night blindness. Cataracts This is a partial or complete clouding of the lens of the eye and the leading cause of blindness, mostly occurring in adults but it can occur at any age. Risk factors include diabetes, exposure to radiation or infrared light, medications such as steroids and cortisone, injuries and diseases. Studies have found that people whose eyes contained higher amounts of lutein were up to 80% less likely to have cataracts. (ONB pg 151) Cataracts may also be linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and protein imbalances. Macular Degeneration This condition is a result of degeneration of the macula, the area of the retina that has the most photosensitive cells and is responsible for our central vision. It is the most common cause of severe vision loss in those over 55 years of age, and risks increase for those over 65 year of age. Risk factors for MD may include atherosclerosis, a hardening of the inner arterial walls due to deposits of fatty and protein substances and hypertension (high blood pressure). Macular degeneration may also be linked to nutritional deficiencies, chemical exposure and cigarette smoking. Glaucoma This is a group of conditions that cause loss of peripheral vision, and usually include an increase in the fluid pressure within the eye. It can go undetected in the early stages due to being asymptomatic. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Aging is one risk factor. Risk factors include serious eye injuries and surgeries, tumors of the eye, and some medications such as steroids. Risk also seems to increase with early menopause, before age 45. Researchers in the Netherlands found women who experienced early menopause were found to be twice as likely to develop glaucoma, compared to women who were menopausal after age 50. The researchers believed that female hormones play a protective role. (Alternative Medicine pg. 940) Other causes may be nutritional deficiencies in the retina and optic nerve and an excess of toxins and metabolic waste in the body systems.
  • 4. Retinal Detachment This is a peeling away of the retina from the back of the eyeball that can result in blindness. This occurs when a hole or tear in the retina allows fluid to seep through and pool between the retina and the back of the eye. This may be caused by injuries to the eyes. Retinopathy This is a serious visual disorder that occurs when there is a hemorrhage of the retinal blood vessels. This is usually associated with hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes, and is a major cause of blindness in diabetics. Food and Nutrition for Eye Health According to Dr. Glen Swartwout, O.D. many eye diseases are linked to nutritional deficiencies cause by poor dietary habits. Specific foods and substances such as eggs, sugar, dairy products, unhealthy fats, fried foods, processed foods laden with additives and preservatives, wheat, acidic foods, alcohol, coffee and tobacco are all implicated. As mentioned above, cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. An interesting fact is that the pH of our blood (the acid/alkaline balance) has an effect on our eye health. If the pH is too acidic it affects our muscle tone and turns the eyes inward. If the pH is too alkaline it will also interfere with muscle tone, causing the eyes to turn outward. The muscles that control eye movements and our vision health are affected by our nutritional choices. Dr. Swartwout has had great success within four weeks in 2/3 of his patients simply by making changes in their diet, health habits and with nutritional supplementation. This experience is supported by other doctors who have helped their patients in the same way. Balance is the key to good health.
  • 5. Dietary Factors Consumption of sugars, refined, processed chemical laden foods and “junk” food contribute to eye disease, as it does throughout the entire body. For prevention a diet of organic whole fresh natural foods, minimally processed foods, vitamin and mineral supplementation is recommended. Recent research implicates oxidative stress as a cause of major eye diseases. Consuming foods with antioxidants and supplementation with antioxidants is therefore very important to protect your eye health. Also at the top of the list for vision health are the carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Carotenoids More than 600 carotenoids have been found in red, yellow, green and orange vegetables and fruits. Especially important to vision health are Lutein and Zeaxanthin which have highly anti-oxidative properties and help vascular changes in the macula, and decrease age related macular degeneration. Lycopene is a carotenoid and a powerful antioxidant that is helpful in vision health. Anthocyanins help to reduce intraocular pressure and help to maintain collagen, the main component of the lens, and the connective tissue that supports the eye. Astaxanthin protects the retinal tissues from oxidative stress caused by light, helps maintain appropriate eye pressure levels and supports the eye’s energy levels and visual acuity. Cooking your leafy green vegetables on low heat can actually increase the bioavailability of lutein and zeaxanthin by breaking the cell walls and the carotenoid protein complexes. Below are the best food sources for Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Lycopene, Anthocyanins and Astaxanthin. Lutein Found in leafy green vegetables, especially kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, red peppers, beets, parsley, romaine lettuce, dill, celery, carrots, squash, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, green peas, red, blue and purple fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and plums, papaya, oranges and eggs. Zeaxanthin Found in kale, spinach, collard and mustard greens, Swiss chard, red peppers, beets, red, blue and purple fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and plums. Lycopene Found in tomatoes, tomato juice and sauces, watermelon, guava, pink grapefruit, green peppers, dried apricots and carrots.
  • 6. Anthocyanins Found in red, blue and purple plant foods such as beets, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and plums. Black current and bilberry are the absolute best sources for eye health. Astaxanthin Found in salmon, lobster, krill, crab and other shellfish with a pink or reddish color. Bioflavonoid Rich Foods Bioflavonoids are found in high concentrations in citrus fruits, blueberries, blackberries, dark skinned grapes, Indian Gooseberry, cherries, cranberries, Acerola cherry, elderberry, mango and pomegranate. These plant compounds have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They improve night vision and adaptation to the dark, visual acuity and capillary integrity to reduce hemorrhage in diabetic retinopathy. Antioxidant Rich Foods The best sources are prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, kale, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, broccolini, plums, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, avocados, and spices and herbs such as turmeric and Ginko Biloba. Supplements for Vision Health It is important to use only whole food sourced supplements for proper absorption and utilization by the body. Synthetic supplements, while being much less costly, are also much less effective. They are synthesized in labs from chemicals with similar molecular structures however they are not the same, and cannot be properly assimilated by the body. Your body can only recognize and assimilate the naturally derived forms of nutrients. Getting most of your nutrients from whole foods is ideal. However supplementation helps to bridge any nutritional gaps and provide additional nutritional support for healing some conditions. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - 1400 mg EPA and 1000 mg DHA daily. Helps prevent arteries of the heart and eye by reducing inflammation. Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, sardines and mackerel are good sources. Coenzyme Q10 - 50 – 100 mg daily. Combined with N-acetyl-carnitine and Omega-3 fatty acids the nutrient mix stabilized visual functions in patients age related macular degeneration. Lipoic Acid - 150 – 300 mg daily. Lipoic Acid is a very powerful antioxidant that helps with reducing free radical damage and oxidative stress.
  • 7. Selenium - 200 – 400 mcg daily. An essential trace mineral with antioxidant properties that protects cellular integrity and cell membranes, protects from free radical damage, helps prevent cataracts, and when combined with Vit. E it helps visual acuity in patients with macular degeneration. Vitamin C - 1000 – 3000 mg daily. Helps reduce intraocular pressure in high doses. An important antioxidant for the eyes, improves vision in those with cataracts. May help to slow the progression of glaucoma. B Vitamins - At least 50 mg of each daily. Protect cardiovascular system. Deficiency of B12, folic acid, and niacin has been seen in glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration. B vitamins store poorly in the body so must be ingested regularly. Zinc - 15 – 30 mg daily. Helps maintain the integrity of the immune system, and carbohydrate and protein metabolism. The retina has the highest concentration of any organ in the body, good for normal vision function, adaptation to the dark and reduces visual loss in macular degeneration. Vitamin A - 4000 – 5000 IU daily. Required by the photoreceptors in the retina, helps maintain health of rods and cones in the retina. Do not use synthetic forms of Vitamin A. Vitamin E - 400 IU daily. Large doses can prevent macular degeneration. Deficiency leads to cataracts. Do not use synthetic forms of Vitamin E. N-acetyl-cysteine - An antioxidant that helps prevent cataracts and degenerative changes in the eye. N-acetyl-carnosine - Administered topically in eye drops 3 to 4 times daily, it moves into the water soluble and lipid containing parts of the eye helping to prevent DNA damage. Taurine - an amino acid that protects from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. Ginko Biloba - An herb with antioxidant properties that improves arterial blood flow and enhances cellular metabolism; helps prevent degenerative changes in the eye. It is available in a dried herb form to use as tea, and may also be found in a tincture form which can be added to water, use according to directions on the label. Bilberry -100 mg daily. Effective in vascular disorders, contains flavonoids and antioxidants that increase microcirculation and supports retinal function, helps to reduce intraocular pressure and to maintain collagen, the main component of the lens, and the connective tissue that supports the eye. Recently many studies have been done on Bilberry and its benefits to eye health.
  • 8. References Goldberg (2002). Alternative Medicine, The Definitive Guide. (2nd ed.). Berkey, CA: Celestial Arts. Holford, P. (2004). The New Optimum Nutrition Bible. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press. Margen MD, S. (1992). The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition. New York, NY: Random House Inc. Marieb, E. N. (2006). Essentials of Human Anatomy & Physiology. (8th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education Inc. Matt, M., & Zieman, J. (1982). The Human Anatomy Coloring Book. New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc.. Merieb, E. N. (2006). Anatomy and Physiology Coloring Workbook. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education Inc.. Murray ND, M., Pizzorno ND, J., & Pizzorno MA LMT, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. NewYork, NY: Atria Books. Walker, R. (2005). BODY An Amazing Tour of Human Anatomy. New York, NY: DK Publishing Inc.. Online References Cataracts. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-030.shtml Glaucoma. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.lef.org/protocols/eye_ear/glaucoma_01.htm
  • 9. Healthy Eyes. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.lef.org/protocols/eye_ear/healthy_eyes_01.htm Macular Degeneration. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.lef.org/protocols/eye_ear/macular_degeneration_01.htm Mercola MD, J. (2011, May 14). Astaxanthin The World's Strongest Antioxidant. Dr. Joseph Mercola. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/14/astaxanthin-the-worlds- strongest-antioxidant.aspx Mercola MD, J. (2010, June 26). Your Attitude Can Improve Your Eyesight. Dr. Joseph Mercola. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/26/your-attitude-can-improve- your-eyesight.aspx Mercola MD, J. (2010, November 23). Astaxanthin The Eye Antioxidant. Dr. Joseph Mercola. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/23/astaxanthin-the-eye- antioxidant-550-times-more-powerful-than-vitamin-e.aspx Retinopathy. (n.d.). Life Extension Foundation. Retrieved April 14, 2012, from http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-097.shtml