How to Protect Your Eyes Naturally

Have you ever thought about your eyes? We rely on them everyday, but do we really appreciate them and take care of them like Protect Your Eyes With Nutritionwe should? We know that eating fresh organic produce and natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids keep your body and skin healthy and slim. Is there any nutrition that can do the same for your eyes? Yes.

Recent research was done on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts and what foods and supplements could affect the prevention and treatment of eye disease. To get some answers researhers looked at a couple of key studies: Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2. In the first study researchers noted the affect of 5 key nutrients on eye health.

They are

  • Vitamin C  (500 mg) – Vitamin C is highly concentrated in your eye’s lens and has many healing benefits
  • Vitamin E (400 IU as alpha tocopherol) – Vitamin E protects against oxidation (oxidation as in rust) and free radical damage. Additionally, higher intakes of vitamin E have been found to increase concentrations within the retina.
  • Beta-carotene (15 mg) – Beta-carotene also helps prevent oxidation
  • Zinc (80 mg) – Zinc has been tied to many enzymatic metabolic functions within the retina. This likely explains its high concentrations within the retina itself
  • Copper (2 mg) – Copper is needed to offset the copper depletion that can happen with increased zinc.

AREDS found that these nutrients lowered the risk for AMD in those patients at the greatest risk for developing the disease. Additionally, a study performed in the Netherlands found that people taking above average dietary intake of the AREDS nutrients had a 56% reduced risk of AMD, while those with below average intake had a 33% increased risk.

With AREDS2, researchers created a five-year, multicenter, randomized trial of nearly 4,000 participants between the ages of 50 and 85. The study began in 2008 and focuses on four key nutrients:

  • Lutein (10 mg) – Lutein is a carotenoid found in colorful fruits and vegetables, namely yellow and orange foods, as well as leafy green veggies. Has long been known to help prevent AMD, especially when those nutrients are consumed in the form of foods such as broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Other additional studies have shown that lutein in particular helps to improve macular pigment density, as well as significantly improve visual acuity and retinal function. It also helped to slow the progression of AMD.
  • Zeaxanthin (2 mg) – Zeaxanthin is also a carotenoid found in colorful fruits and vegetables, namely yellow and orange foods, as well as leafy green veggies. It has also long been known to help prevent AMD, especially when those nutrients are consumed in the form of foods such as broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.
  • DHA (350 mg) – DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in cold-water fish.help to reduce inflammation and regulate the genetic expression of retinal cells. Of the omega 3-fatty acids, DHA seems to play the bigger role in eye health. There is significant concentration of DHA is both the brain and retina cells’ membranes. If fact, it is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the macula (the center part of the retina), as well as the periphery of the retina.
  • EPA (650) – EPA is also an omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in cold-water fish. It helps to reduce inflammation and regulate the genetic expression of retinal cells.

Other Nutrients for Eye Health:

  • B vitamins – With B vitamins, long-term, daily use of 2.5 mg of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6, and 1 mg of vitamin B12 reduced the risk of mild AMD by 40%.
  • Vitamin D3  - 604 IU of vitamin D (from both food and supplements) reduced risk of early AMD.

When it comes to omega-3s overall, studies have shown that these polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the risk of AMD by up to 38% when taken in high amounts, either as supplements or fish. Other studies have shown that eating fish at least once a week was associated with a 40% reduction in age-related maculopathy.

What’s really interesting is that a fairly recent study found that DHA supplementation alone increased the density of central macular pigment, while lutein alone increased macular pigment density around the fovea (the center of the macula). When taken in combination, increases were seen in both areas.

Cataracts and Antioxidants

It has long been established that a primary factor in the development of cataracts is oxidative damage to the lens. For this reason, much of the research surrounding nutrition and cataracts includes the use of antioxidants.

In the Nurses’ Health and Beaver Dam Eye Studies, researchers found that women/people who:

  • Took a vitamin C supplement for 10 years or more had significantly lower incidence of cataracts.
  • Used vitamin E supplements for five years also enjoyed reduced progression of cataracts.
  • Used a multivitamin that contained vitamins C or E for more than 10 years had a 60 percent lower likelihood of developing cataracts.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin also seem to play a role in protecting against cataracts. One study found that a higher intake of foods containing these two nutrients was associated with a reduced likelihood of developing cataracts.
  • Similarly, the Nurses’ Health Study found that women who had high daily intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin (11.7 mg) had a 22 percent reduction in cataract risk.

Some Things You Can Do

For Your Diet:

  • Eat the rainbow. Focus on yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
  • Dig into eggs. The yolks are rich in lutein.
  • Think seafood. Aim for at least two to three servings of wild-caught, cold-water fish per week.
  • Enjoy citrus fruits and berries. These are great sources of vitamin C.
  • Go Nuts. Nuts and seeds are good sources of Vitamin E.

On the supplement front:

 

GLAUCOMA:

NOTE:

  1. To reduce toxin exposure, eliminate ALL AVOIDABLE TOXINS by choosing Shaklee toxin-free cleaners and personal care products.
  2. To support more optimal fiber and raw essential oils, it is recommended to eat 3 tablespoons of fresh ground flaxseed daily
  3. With every ailment listed below, use the three items listed FIRST for support to one of the Starter Programs
  4. ALL programs should begin with ONE of the following three STARTER PROGRAM OPTIONS:
  • A. The Bare Essentials
  1. 3 tablespoons of Soy Protein or 2 scoops of Cinch Shakes
  2. 2 Vita Lea either: Vita-Lea® Women,Vita-Lea® Men, Vita-Lea Gold® with Vitamin K, Vita-Lea Gold™ without Vitamin K
  3. 1 Optiflora Pearl PLUS 1/8th to 1 teaspoon Optiflora Powder, or the Optiflora® Prebiotic & Probiotic System
  • B.  Basic Program for Prevention
  1. 3 tablespoons of Soy Protein or 2 scoops of Cinch Shakes
  2. 1 Vitalizer Strip (with or without iron) PLUS 1/8th to 1 teaspoon Optiflora Powder,
  • C.  Better Program for Prevention and Symptoms
  1. 3 tablespoons of Soy Protein or 2 scoops of Cinch Shakes
  2. Vitalizer Strip (with or without iron) PLUS 1/8th to 1 teaspoon Optiflora Powder
  3. 1 teaspoon of Vivix
  4. 2 NutriFeron

GLAUCOMA:

  1. VITAMIN E + SELENIUM: increases circulation to the eye; powerful free radical scavenger
  2. BETA CAROTENE/CAROTOMAX: necessary to heal & remove pressure from behind the eye
  3. GLA: helps reduce pressure & involved in the regulation of circulation to the eye; anti-inflammatory
  4. VIVIX:  to support healing in the eye tissue
  5. Vitamin C : prevents tearing of capillaries; detoxifies free radicals; anti-inflammatory
  6. OPTIFLORA:  reduce toxin load
  7. ALFALFA: mineral content relaxes arterial muscles; anti-inflammatory
  8. HERBAL LAXATIVE: detoxifies body tissues
  9. DTX:  reduce toxin load
  10. CoEnzymeQ10:  powerful antioxidant
  11. GINKGO BILOBA (Shaklee Mental Acuity): increase blood flow to the eyes

For More Information Click These Links

Antioxidant Vitamins and Free Radicals, What Vitamins Will Stop Free Radical Damage
Antioxidants And Free Radicals
Best Antioxidant Supplements
Free Radicals and Antioxidants – More Free Radicals Now Than In The Past
Polyphenols Antioxidants and the Health Benefits
How Much Omega 3 Per Day You Should be Getting for Optimal Health
The Ultimate Multivitamin Pack

 

 

References:
Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119:1417-36.
National Eye Institute. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2). Bethesda: National Institute of Health; 2006.
De Jong P et al. Dietary antioxidant intake reduces risk of AMD. The Rotterdam Study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004;45: E-abstract 2243.
Seddon JM et al. Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and advanced age-related macular degeneration. JAMA. 1994; 272:1413-20.
Richer S et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 2004;75:216-30.
Neelam K et al. Carotenoids and co-antioxidants in age-related maculopathy: design and methods. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2008;15:389-401.
Olmedilla B et al. Lutein in patients with cataracts and age-related macular degeneration: A long-term supplementation study. J Sci Food Agricult. 2001;81:904-9.
Van Kuijk FJ and Buck P. Fatty acid composition of the human macula and peripheral retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1992;33:3493-6.
Chong EW et al. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid and fish intake in the primary prevention of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126:826-33.
Chau B et al. Dietary fatty acids and the 5-year incidence of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006;124:981-6.
Johnson EJ et al. The influence of supplemental lutein and docosahexaenoic acid on serum, lipoproteins, and macular pigmentation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87:1521-9.
Christen WG et al. Folic acid, pyridoxine, and cyanocobalamin combination treatment and age-related macular degeneration in women: The Women’s Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:335-41.
Parekh N et al. Association between vitamin D and age-related macular degeneration in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988 through 1994. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125:661-9.
Jacques PF et al. Long-term nutrient intake and early age-related nuclear lens opacities. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119:1009-19.
Jacques PF et al. Long-term nutrient intake and 5-year change in nuclear lens opacities. Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123:517-26.
Mares-Perlman JA et al. Vitamin supplement use and incident cataracts in a population-based study. Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118:1556-63.
Tavani A et al. Food and nutrient intake and risk of cataract. Ann Epidemiol. 1996;6:41-6.
Vu HT et al. Lutein and zeaxanthin and the risk of cataract: the Melbourne visual impairment project. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006;47:3783-6.

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Filed under: Antioxidants

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