NUTRITIONAL EYE RESEARCH SUMMARIES

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MACULAR DEGENERATION STUDIES


1.  Resveratrol and other red wine components and proanthocyanins were found to help reverse wet macular degeneration and improve vision in some patients who either didn't respond to Lucentis/Avastin injections or refused them.  They appear to have anti-angiogenic properties in the proper doses.  (Ed. Note: It also would seem likely to reduce the need for as many injections in those receiving them.)  Nutrients 2013, 5, 1989-2005; doi:10.3390/nu5061989

2.  Significant improvement in visual function was noted in elderly patients who took lutein with and without antioxidants.  (Those taking the lutein-antioxidant formula (Ocupower) also had no cardiac or stroke events.)  Richer, Stiles, et al. Optometry. 2004 Apr;75(4):216-30

3.  Risk of developing advanced macular disease and blindness was reduced significantly by taking antioxidants regularly.  After 18 months, those taking antioxidants consistently were 4X less likely to deteriorate than those who didn't, and 2.5X more likely to improve.   Arch Ophthalmol 2001 Oct;119(10):1417-36   Olson, et al. J. Cat Refr Surg, Mar 1991   Am J Clin Nutr 1995 Dec;62(6 Suppl):1448S-1461S  Snodderly, Am J Clin Nutr 1995;62(6 suppl):1448S-61S  (Ed. Note: We believe a more absorbable form of zinc, such as Opti-zinc, would provide better results with a lower dose, since high doses of zinc can cause anemia.  Substituting lutein for beta carotene would have improved the results, in our opinion.)

4.  Those consuming the highest amounts of cold water fish were only about half as likely to develop macular degeneration than those consuming the least fish.  (Those who consumed the highest amount of cholesterol in their diet were 2.7 times MORE likely to develop advanced macular degeneration.)  Sangiovanni, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec;90(6):1601-7   Smith, et al. Arch Ophthalmol 2000 Mar;118(3):401-4   (Ed. Note: There is good reason to believe that consuming fish oil capsules (1000mg of DHA/EPA) along with a broad spectrum ocular whole body formula would decrease macular degeneration risk by over 70%!  We believe that is it absolutely ESSENTIAL to add this to your nutrition regimen!)

5.  Consuming 6 mg of the caroteinoid lutein (w/ it's co-nutrient zeaxanthin) daily (Ed. Note: equiv. to 4-8 ounces of spinach daily, depending on reference) for five months was shown to significantly increase macular pigment density, which protects from harmful blue wavelength light believed to be most responsible for macular degeneration. Landrum, et al. Exp Eye Res 1997 Jul;65(1):57-62

6.  High macular pigment density was associated with the retention of youthful visual sensitivity, which suggested that increasing macular pigment may retard age-related declines in visual function.  Hammond, et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1997 Aug;38(9):1795-801.

7.  Persons who had the lowest serum levels of lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid in the serum, were twice as likely to have macular degeneration when compared to those with the highest levels. Mares-Perlman, et al. Arch Ophthalmol 1995 Dec;113(12):1518-23  (Ed. Note: Consumption of high levels of lutein and lycopene (a carotenoid found in tomatoes) has also been associated with dramatically lower cancer rates for lung and prostate cancer!)

8.  Those consuming lutein rich foods (spinach and collard greens) five days per week were 8 times less likely to develop macular degeneration as those consuming them once per month  Seddon, et al. JAMA 1994 Nov 9;272(18):1413-20
(Ed. Note: Consumption of large amounts of spinach may be associated with kidney stones due to its high levels of oxalic acid, and also is contradindicted in those taking blood thinners due to its vitamin K. Standardized lutein supplements may be preferred.  It is estimated the cost of consuming lutein-rich foods to get 10 mg/day is around $1.00/day)

9.  The ARMD population manifested decreased intake of  vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6 and folic acid.  Patients with advanced ARMD taking antioxidants twice daily maintained vision in their better functioning eyes significantly better than those taking a placebo.  Richer, J Am Optom Assoc 1996 Jan;67(1):12-29  J Am Optom Assoc 1996 Jan;67(1):30-49

10.  Smokers with early macular degeneration who consumed the lowest amounts of carotenoids were nearly 6X as likely to develop advanced macular degeneration than those consuming the highest amounts.  AMD patients were more likely to be smokers and have the lowest blood levels of selenium. Seddon, et al. J. Amer Med Assoc; 1994.  Doc Ophthalmol 1992;81(4):387-400   Mayer, et al. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 1998 Feb;76(1):62-7 

11.  In a clinical trial 60% of subjects with ARMD or diabetic macular edema who received 500 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, 15,000 IU of beta carotene and selenium showed either improvement or no further progression of their disease.  So Med J, 1987.  Ed Note: More recent evidence indicates that other carotenoids are more important than beta carotene, and too much beta carotene in the absence of lutein/zeaxanthin may be more harmful than good.

12.  The minerals copper and zinc are required to synthesize superoxide dismutase and other enzymes in the retina which scavenge free radicals, preventing the oxidative damage which plays a role in the development of drusen, an early sign of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Olin, et al: Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1995 Apr;208(4):370-7

13.  Glutathione and its related enzyme precursor amino acids (N-Acetyl-Cysteine, L-glycine and glutamine, as well as selenium) are protective against damage to human retinal pigment epithelium cells, and may help prevent retinal damage in AMD. Sternberg, Davidson, Jones, et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1993 Dec;34(13):3661-8  Cai, et al  Prog Retin Eye Res. 2000 Mar;19(2):205-21

14.  Quercetin protected bovine retinas in vitro from induced lipid peroxidation, especially when combined with vitamin E, suggesting a potential protective effect in age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmic Res 1996;28(3):184-92.

15.  Deficiency of taurine, an amino acid, has been shown to lead to retinal degeneration and supplementing it has been used with some success to prevent, treat and stabilize retinal changes. Altern Med Rev 1998 Apr;3(2):128-36.  Oftalmol Zh 1989;(8):463-5   Brain Res Brain Res Rev 1991 May-Aug;16(2):151-69   J Neurosci Res 1987;18(4):602-14

16.  General measures for prevention and remediation of macular degeneration would include a combination of supplementation with trace elements, antioxidants and other vitamins, and increasing physical fitness, improving nutrition (e.g. avoiding hydrogenated oils), abstaining from smoking, and protection from excessive light exposure. Eur J Med Res 1997 Oct 30;2(10):445-54

17.  There was an inverse relationship between dietary pro-vitamin A carotenoid and vitamin E consumption and the incidence of large macular drusen, as well as between zinc levels and the incidence of retinal pigment abnormalities.  Am J Epidemiol 1998 Jul 15;148(2):204-14

18.  Subnormal zinc and/or vitamin E serum levels may be associated with as much as an 82% increased risk of  advanced age-related macular degeneration.  Vitamin C and lipoic acid help to recycle vitamin E in the retinal tissues.  Ishihara, et al.  Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi 1997  Mar;101(3):248-51. Delcourt C. et al. Arch Ophthalmol 1999 Oct;117(10):1384-90  Stoyanovsky DA, et al. Curr Eye Res 1995 Mar;14(3):181-9   Belda, et al Mech Ageing Dev 1999 Mar 1;107(2):159-64

19.  A statistically significant improvement in visual acuity was observed after treatment with Ginkgo biloba extract in a double blind, placebo controlled study of macular degeneration patients.   Lebuisson DA, et al.  Presse Med 1986 Sep 25;15(31):1556-8

20.   Consumption of fruits and vegetables is protective against progression of macular degeneration.  Mayo Clin Health Lett. 2006 May;24(5):4  Cho, Seddon, et al  Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92  (Ed. Note: If you don't consume a minimum of FIVE servings of fruits and vegetables daily, we suggest a supplement which condenses them to capsule form.  For more information, read this:  Click Here.)

21.   High ORAC (antioxidant capacity) berries, especially bilberry, wild blueberry, strawberry,  grape seed extract and Resveratrol have been found to be potent inhibitors of angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth) by reducing VEGF expression as well as reducing oxidative damage to the macular pigment.  Roy, et al. Free Radic Res. 2002 Sep;36(9):1023-31  King RE et al. Chem Biol Interact. 2005 Jan 15;151(2):143-9. (Ed. Note:  This is the SAME mechanism of action of the new drugs Lucentis and Avastin, which suggests that they possibly may help reduce the frequency of injections into the eye, but studies need to be done.)

22.  Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of new blood vessel growth in the retinas of animals and likely is contraindicated in patients with wet macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, especially if getting laser or Lucentis/Avastin therapies.  Bora, et al. FEBS J. 2006 Apr;273(7):1403-14


(CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE NUTRITIONAL
SUPPLEMENT WE RECOMMEND TO HELP PREVENT MACULAR DEGENERATION.)

MORE INFORMATION ON MACULAR DEGENERATION FROM 
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

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GLAUCOMA STUDIES


1. Open angle glaucoma patients who received 150mg of alpha lipoic acid each day, 45-47% of the eyes had enhancement of color visual fields and visual sensitivity when compared to controls using only topical medical therapy.  More advanced cases had an even better response compared to their controls.  ALA has strong neuroprotective properties, which is essential for protecting the optic nerve from damage from glaucoma.  Filina, et al., Vestn Oftalmol 1995 Oct-Dec;111(4):6-8   Osborne, NN  Prog Brain Res. 2008;173:339-52    J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 1995 Jul;15(4):624-30  Filina, AA & Sporova, NA. Vestn Oftalmol 1991 May-Jun;107(3):19-21  (100+ other ALA/Neuroprotective Studies)

2.  The amino acid acetyl l-carnitine has been shown to protect damaged nerve cells from death by improving myelination and reducing apoptosis.  Combined with alpha lipoic acid, it was shown to improve vascular dilation.  (These combined effects may help prevent optic nerve damage in both normal tension and open angle glaucoma.)  Ramacci, MT, et al. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1988;14(9):593-601.   McMackin CJ, et al. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2007 Apr;9(4):285-6

3.  Nutrients which show potential benefit for glaucoma include vitamin C, glucosamine sulfate, lipoic acid, vitamin B12, magnesium, ginkgo biloba, and melatonin.  The eyes of open angle glaucoma patients were were also found to have significantly lower vitamin C levels compared to normals.  Head, KA Altern Med Rev. 2001 Apr;6(2):141-66    Aleksidze, et al. Oftalmol Zh 1989;(2):114-6   Ritch R. Med Hypotheses 2000 Feb;54(2):221-35 

4.  Melatonin helps reduce intraocular pressure.    Mediero A, et al Auton Meurosci. 2009 May 11;14y(1-2):14-9. Epub 2009 Jan 26

5.  Magnesium, dark chocolate, melatonin, omega 3 fatty acids, CoQ10, resveratrol and anthocyanosides (compounds found in bilberry, grape seed and pine bark) were shown to significantly improve blood flow regulation in the optic nerve and in possibly in the ciliary body of the eye (the source of excess fluid production).   Mozaffarieh M, Flammer J.  Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2007 May;12(2):195-8    Robert D Steigerwalt Jr, Belcaro Gianni, et al.  Molecular Vision 2008; 14:1288-1292    Mozaffarieh M, et al. Surv Ophthalmol. 2008 Sep-Oct;53(5):479-505

6.  Vascular obstruction and hindrance of the blood flow and impaired nutrition of neuronal tissue might be the primary causes of glaucoma.  Magnesium supplementation reduced peripheral vasospasms and improved visual fields in patients with normal tension and open angle glaucoma.   Sonnsjo & Krakau, Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 1993 Aug;71(4):433-44   Gaspar, et al; Ophthalmologica 1995;209(1):11-3

7.  The fatty acid DHA (abundant in fish oil), along with B Complex and vitamin E were shown to be helpful in  preventing or delaying vision loss associated with glaucoma by protecting against optic nerve ischemia (bloodflow deprivation) as well as increasing the rate of outflow of aqueous humor.  Cellini M, et al., Acta Ophthalmol Scand Suppl 1998;(227):41   Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Feb;48(2):756-62.

8.  Besides alpha lipoic acid, other nutrients which may be protective against glaucoma include vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, pycnogenol (from grape seed extract or pine bark), thiamine, Vitamin B12 and flavonoids. Kobayashi MS, et al. Free Radic Res 2000 Feb;32(2):115-24  Asregadoo, Ann Ophthalmol 1979 Jul;11(7):1095-1100   Chung HS, et al.  J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 1999 Jun;15(3):233-40  Klin Oczna 1974 Nov;44(11):1183-7  (Ed. Note: Ginkgo must be used with caution by those taking Coumadin, as it may increase its effect - I would ask your doctor if you can try reducing the Coumadin instead of avoiding ginkgo biloba)

9.  Regular moderate exercise increases ocular perfusion pressure, which helps prevent glaucoma and reduces the risk of nerve fiber damage in those with glaucoma.  Eurekalert.org

10.  A product with Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) and European bilberry extract reduced intraocular pressures as well as latanoprost (a medicine similar to Lumigan, Travatan and Xalatan, the first line drugs used for glaucoma), and had an additive effect.  In one study 19 out of 20 patients had lower eye pressures and better ocular blood flow.  Steigerwalt, RD, et al.  Mol Vis, 2008 Jul 10; 14:1288-92  Steigeralt RD, et al. Clin Opthalmol. 2010 May 14;4471-6

11.  Recent studies have shown that high daily doses of calcium (>800mg) and iron (>18mg) have been associated with a 240% and 380% higher risk of glaucoma.  When both were taken, the risk was 724% higher.  Wang SY et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Feb 13;53(2):725-31

(Supplements which may help protect you from glaucomatous vision loss including some of these nutrients
 would include
FortifEye Omega 3s, Proangenol, and Mitochondrial Energy Booster
available from Dr. Schmidt's HealthNet Nutritionals

MORE INFORMATION ON GLAUCOMA FROM 
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH.

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DIABETIC EYE STUDIES


1.  Alpha Lipoic Acid significantly reduces diabetic cataract formation and neuropathy, and would seem to be an ideal neuroprotective substance in the treatment of all oxidative brain and neural disorders involving free radical processes.  It also increases insulin sensitivity in Type II diabetics.  Packer, L., Ann N Y Acad Sci 1994 Nov 17;738:257-64  Packer, L. Free Radic Biol Med 1997;22(1-2):359-78   Kamenova P., Hormones (Athens). 2006 Oct-Dec;5(4):251-8

2.  In one study all 38 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes were required to lower their insulin dose to avoid hypoglycemia after taking  200mg of Gymnema Sylvestre extract twice daily.  Shanmugasundaram ER, et al. J Ethnopharmacol 1990 Oct;30(3):281-94

3.  Diabetic patients with high serum magnesium levels were less likely to develop severe diabetic retinopathy compared to those with low levels. Diabetes 1978 Nov;27(11):1075-7.

4.  73% of type I and II diabetics who took chromium supplements reduced their requirement for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents.  Taking chromium and niacin together reduced fasting blood sugar levels and improved glucose tolerance.  J Trace Elem Exp Med 1995: 8:183-90;  Urberg M, Zemel MB, Metabolism 1987; 36:896-99Balk, E. et al. Diabetes Care. 2007 May 22  Broadhurst, CL, et al. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2006 Dec;8(6):677-87

5.  Chromium, high-dose vitamin E, magnesium, glucomannan (a soluble fiber) and taurine likely lessen risk for macrovascular disease (retinopathy) and reduce blood sugar fluctuations in diabetics.  McCarty, Med Hypotheses 1997 Aug;49(2):143-52McCarty, MF, Med Hypotheses. 2002 Jun;58(6):487-90.

6.  Both Panax and American ginseng was shown to normalize glucose tolerance tests, and reduced blood sugar spikes in Type II diabetics after consumption of a sugar solution. Vuksan V, et al., Arch Intern Med 2000 Apr 10;160(7):1009-13

7.  Bioflavonoids, especially those from bilberry extract and pine bark based pycnogenol, were found to normalize blood vessel permeability in diabetic patients, and not only significantly reduced the risk of diabetic retinopathy, but improved retinopathy in 79% of the patients who took them.  Long term use of multiple antioxidants inhibits the development of early stage diabetic retinopathy.  Valenci, et al. Diabet Med 1996 Oct;13(10):882-8Detre, et al. Clin Physiol Biochem 1986;4(2):143-9 
Perossini, et al.  Ann Ottalmol Clin Ocul 1987  Kowluru RA, et al.  Diabetes 2001 Aug;50(8):1938-42   Schonlau F, Rohdewald P.  Int Ophthalmol. 2001;24(3):161-71.

8.  Seven of fifteen patients with Type I diabetic retinopathy who were given vitamin B12 along with their daily insulin injections were found to have complete regression of retinal signs after 12 months.  Kornerup T, Strom L. Acta paediatr 1958

9.  Low magnesium levels might increase the risk of ischemic heart disease and severe retinopathy in diabetics, while chromium increases insulin sensitivity and raises the 'good' HDL cholesterol.  Tuvemo, T. Pediatrician 1983-85;12(4):213-9

10.  Low serum carotenoid levels were found to be directly related to an increased risk for developing insulin resistance and diabetes. Ford, et al. Am J Epidemiol 1999 Jan 15;149(2):168-76

11.  Vitamin E significantly improved glucose tolerance in non-insulin dependent diabetics, which should very likely result in fewer diabetic complications.  Paolisso, G, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1993; 57:650-56.

12. 
High ORAC (antioxidant capacity) mixed berries were found to inhibit new blood vessel growth in a manner similar to drugs like Lucentis and Avastin, which need to be injected into the eyeball.   (Taking them may reduce the frequency of the need for injections, but ocular studies are needed to determine if this is true.) 
Roy, et al. Free Radic Res. 2002 Sep;36(9):1023-31 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE STUDIES ON NUTRITION AND DIABETES

(CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ONE NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT WE RECOMMEND TO HELP PREVENT AND SUPPORT TREATMENT OF DIABETES AND DIABETIC RETINOPATHY.

If you are an unstable diabetic and would like to take part in our online clinical case study
of a new product which may help you, email Dr. Schmidt:  eyedoc2020 @ bellsouth.net

If you already are taking a quality multivitamin/mineral supplement, the following is the one you should add to it:  Click Here then click on the "i" for information and ingredients)

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CATARACT STUDIES


1. Subjects taking vitamin C supplements for more than 10 years had a 45-77% lower risk of early lens opacities (cataracts) and 83% lower risk of moderate lens opacities. The higher the serum levels, the lower the risk of cataracts.  Jacques, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Oct. 1997. S.E. Hankinson, et al. 1992. BMJ: 305: 335-339.  Simon JA, Hudes ES J Clin Epidemiol 1999 Dec;52(12):1207-11

2. Vitamin E, vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, and taurine appear to offer protection against lens damage caused by low level radiation.  Bantseev, et al. Biochem Mol Biol Int 1997 Sep;42(6):1189-97.

3. Dietary lutein and cryptoxanthin and vitamin E were associated with 60 to 70% lower risk of nuclear cataracts in those under age 65.  Lyle, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Feb;69(2):272-7.

4. Dietary intake of protein, vitamins A, C, E, and carotene, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine significantly decreased the risk of all cataract types.  (Combining a variety of antioxidant nutrients produced the greatest effect.)  Cumming RG, et al. Ophthalmology 2000 Mar;107(3):450-6  Leske, et al. Arch Ophthalmol 1991 Feb;109(2):244-51.

5. Vitamin E taken with bilberry extract (2mg/kg body weight) formation of senile cataracts and macular degeneration in all of the rats who were given it.   Fursova AXh, et al.  Adv Gerontol, 2005; 16:76-9

6. Low blood levels of vitamin E were associated with approximately twice the risk of both cortical and nuclear cataracts, compared to median or high levels. Vitale, et al. Epidemiology 1993 May;4(3):195-203 

7. Smokers were 2.6 times as likely to develop posterior subcapsular cataracts than nonsmokers.  Hankinson, et al. JAMA 1992 Aug 26;268(8):994-8

8.  Patients with senile cataracts were found to have significantly lower blood and intraocular levels of the mineral selenium than controls.  Karakucuk S, et al.  Acta Ophthalmol Scand 1995 Aug;73(4):329-32

9. Alpha lipoic acid can help prevent cataract formation as well as nerve degeneration and radiation injury. Packer, et al. Free Radic Biol Med 1995 Aug;19(2):227-50

10.  Procyanins (antioxidants found in grape seed, grape skin, pine bark, and bilberry) prevent the development of experimentally induced cataracts in animal studies.  Yamakoshi J, et al.   J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Aug 14;50(17):4983-8. 

(CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT WE RECOMMEND MOST TO HELP PREVENT AND TREAT CATARACTS.)

MORE INFORMATION ON CATARACTS FROM
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

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MYOPIA (Nearsightedness)

1.  Children who received mineral supplements as infants were 5X less likely to develop myopia than those who were not.   Pohlandt, F. Eur J Pediatr. 1994 Apr;153(4):234-6.

2.  Exposure to sunlight may be a critical factor in stopping children from becoming nearsighted by improving dopamine release and ultraviolet A light exposure, which inhibit eye growth and increase scleral rigidity.  The vitamin riboflavin also plays a part.  (Conversely, light deprivation likely increases myopia progression.)  Morgan, I, et al.  ABC Science Online December 5, 2007  Wollensak, G. et al.   J Cataract Refract Surg. 2004 Mar;30(3):689-95

3.  Vitamin E and bioflavonoids were beneficial in slowing progression of myopia in most of the patients who took them.  Politzer, M. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd. 1977 Oct;171(4):616-9

(We highly recommend either Dr. Schmidt's Liquid Vitamin/Mineral supplement for our patients, or nutraMetrix's Isotonic Might-A-Mins)

(Ed Note:  Simple eye exercises to reduce intraocular muscle spasms and good reading habits along with a good multivitamin/mineral supplement should also help prevent myopia development.  The Wollensak study suggests UV exposure is not all bad, but probably should be limited.)



RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA STUDIES


1.  Patients with retinitis pigmentosa appear to have faulty cellular uptake of the amino acid taurine.  Disturbed utilization of vitamin A also appears to play a part in retinitis pigmentosa, and a subgroup of patients benefit from supplementation of this vitamin. Head KA, Altern Med Rev 1999 Oct;4(5):342-59

2.  The essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid and DHA may be required for those with retinitis pigmentosa to support normal functional development of the retina.   Uauy R, et al. Lipids 1996 Mar;31 Suppl:S167-76 

3.  A diet high in polyunsaturated fats (e.g. corn oil), and low in vitamin E, selenium, sulfur-containing amino acids (e.g. taurine, methionine),  and chromium were related to a build up of pigment which mimics one type of retinitis pigmentosa. Katz, et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1978.   Pang J, et al. Jpn J Ophthalmol 2001 Nov-Dec;45(6):672-6

4.  Lutein supplementation in high doses improved both visual acuities and visual fields after 2-4 weeks of treatment in 16 subjects, and was especially effective in blue eyed individuals. Dagnelie G., et al  Optometry 2000 Mar;71(3):147-64

5.  Vitamin B3 may be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of retinal degeneration, including retinitis pigmentosa.  Kiuchi K, et al  Exp Eye Res 2002 Mar;74(3):383-92

6.   Anthocyanins from sources such as bilberry extract, have been shown to reduce retinal pigment death.  Jang, YP, et al  Photochem Photobiol. 2005 May-Jun;81(3):529-36

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DISCUSSION AND COMMENTS

We are frequently asked "Why hasn't my doctor told me about these studies?"  The simple reason is that he likely is unaware of them.  Drug companies educate the doctors, not nutraceutical companies, so their education rarely includes any of the information on this page.  Do you think they would like their lecturers to tell doctors that an over-the-counter medicine like Mirtogenol for $35 works as well as their $120 Lumigan for glaucoma?   If the doctors mention that, they wouldn't be asked to be on the speaker's panels anymore!  You can make a difference by referring your own doctor here or printing out the studies and let him read them for himself.  (All the studies referred to above are linked to their abstracts on the National Institutes of Health PUBMED website by the references.)

While these studies are certainly promising, we must stress that the FDA does not permit medical claims about nutritional supplements, even if they work, unless they go through millions of dollars of clinical trials.  No drug or supplement works for everybody.  You'll always hear about any nutritional
studies that showed negative outcomes, because they are so rare!  What they fail to tell you is that for every negative study, there are usually dozens or hundreds of positive ones!  (Negative results often can be attributed to the use of the wrong form of the nutrients or inadequate doses.)

More studies are certainly needed and being undertaken at centers all over the world.  Since no one can patent natural medicines or vitamins, so it's an uphill battle to get any company to pay tens of millions of dollars for large studies.  Pharmaceutical companies are in the business of making profits, not curing diseases.  Their primary goal, sadly, is to keep you symptom-free until your next dose is due.

Other factors affect the progression of eye diseases, including too many saturated and "trans" (hydrogenated) fats and not enough Omega 3 fats.  Also certain medications, toxins (including aspartame, aka "Nutrasweet" (click for video report), and MSG), smoking, excess (a little is actually good for you) sunlight exposure, poor drinking water and air quality, as well as lack of exercise and the resultant decreased blood flow to the ocular tissues can affect visual outcome. 

The overwhelming body of evidence points to significant beneficial effects of nutritional supplementation for most degenerative eye conditions.  Important to remember is that many of the above studies used blood levels and food intakes associated with a normal diet.  Taking quality supplements with dosages significantly higher than available in a normal diet may have a much more protective effect than dietary levels alone.  With so little risk, and the other potential health benefits from taking nutritional supplements, it would certainly seem prudent to try them, especially for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy where there are no other options other than costly and painful laser treatments and monthly injections into the eyeball, which are only temporary fixes.

With macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa, it's important to realize that once the damage is done it cannot be reversed (except to a very small degree), so prevention and early intervention is essential, especially if we have a family history of the diseases.  Of course, delayed intervention may still slow progression.  It is also important to be followed closely by a nutritionally knowledgeable eye doctor when starting nutritional supplements and one should never discontinue prescribed medications without your regular doctor's approval.

Most of the nutrients mentioned above can be purchased individually or in combination at your local healthfood store, but it can be very confusing for the lay person or even health professionals to separate the facts from the hype.  For this reason, we've compiled a Comparison Chart for the two best ocular nutrition supplements which we've come across, as well as the two most popular brands given away as samples by many eye doctors.  Forget all the hype and compare them head-to-head yourself by going to the Ocular Nutrition Comparison Chart  by clicking on this underlined text.  In addition to the multivitamins, we also recommend taking Resveratrol Plus for wet and dry macular degeneration.


May we count on you to help us?  Since the vast majority of optometrists and ophthalmologists find it impossible to keep up with all the new research, would you please share this information with your own eye doctor?  (Emailing or printing this page out and handing or faxing it to him/her are the best ways.)  We know that, with your help, we can reach more eye doctors and keep them up-to-date on promising new techniques for preserving eyesight and health.  We also would appreciate your mentioning www.i-care.net in your online chats and blogs, and requesting that other health websites you visit link to our studies.  We thank you in advance for your kind efforts!

We now are building up a network of progressive eye physicians who are aware of the research on this page and want to keep abreast of  important new studies as they are published.  If your doctor is unwilling to look over the research we've summarized above, perhaps you would be wise to consult with one of the doctors listed on our RECOMMENDED EYE DOCTORS WEBPAGE.  If you feel your doctor should be listed and he isn't, why not encourage him to apply for a free listing?  He just has to pass a short quiz to prove he has read the research.

And if you haven't done so already, we highly recommend you read the remarkable nutrition research against cancer (50% lower death rates from taking one nutrient, 77% reduction in all-cancer risk from two others), heart disease (77% reduction in heart attacks from another nutrient), stroke (73% reduction in risk) and many other health conditions, by clicking here => GENERAL HEALTH RESEARCH.

Thank you for ordering your supplements from Dr. Schmidt's HealthNet Nutritionals.  Your purchases help us to keep this website online and updated!

Please bookmark us and visit often so you can keep abreast of new research as it's released!



 
ATTN: EYE PHYSICIANS!
If, after reading these studies, you agree that this information is important to disseminate and want to begin implementing a more preventive approach to your patient care, you may request a free listing on our Recommended Eye Doctors List and receive other benefits.  There's no charge for your listing, but you must pass a short competency quiz based on the nutritional research we've posted.  (If you are not an eye doctor, but would like to seamlessly incorporate nutrition into your practice, email us at: doc at i-care.net)

(FOR PHYSICIANS ONLY, PLEASE!)
If you don't have internet access, simply fax your request, fax number, and the name of the person who gave you this page on your letterhead to (561) 622-8308 and we'll fax you back an application for your free internet listing and patient education materials.

We appreciate your Comments and Suggestions on how we can make this website more helpful to our visitors.  If any of the above links are nonfunctional or you have any suggestions, please let us know! Email: doc at i-care.net



This Information Was Published In The Public Interest by:

George L. Schmidt, O.D.
Founder, I-CARE Network of Physicians
FAX: (561)622-8308   Email: doc at i-care.net
Copyright 2001, All Rights Reserved

This site is copyrighted, but permission may be granted for other health conscious websites to link directly to the website
or it's material reproduced with proper attribution and a link back to The EYE SITE.  Email requests to
   doc at i-care.net

  • Go To The EYE SITE HOME PAGE
  • Ocular Nutrition Comparison Chart
  • Nutrition Products Order Page
  • Read About GENERAL NUTRITIONAL HEALTH RESEARCH
  • HARVARD NEWS RELEASE: Importance of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in Preventing Macular Degeneration
  • Go To Our RECOMMENDED EYE DOCTORS' Webpage



  • Find out about OcuPower!

















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