Researchers explore omega-3 mechanisms in neovascular eye disease

Researchers explore omega-3 mechanisms in neovascular eye diseaseAn article in the February 9, 2011 issue of Science Translational Medicine unveils a mechanism for omega-3 fatty acids in protecting the eye against retinopathy (which affects people with diabetes), as well as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  Both diseases are characterized by abnormal, leaky blood vessel growth.  Neovascular eye diseases are currently treated with the drugs Macugen or Lucentis, but can still lead to blindness.  (more…)

Blueberries protect the brain

Almost everyone thinks blueberries taste great and likes to see them on the breakfast table.  But there is a lot more to love about these tiny fruits. Blueberries are one of the richest sources of antioxidants, the natural substances that fight damage caused by free radicals. This makes them highly effective in fighting chronic degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, macular degeneration, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. And now we know that blueberries safeguard the brain.

Although it is not clear how blueberries affect the brain, it has been shown that the flavonoids they contain are able to cross the blood brain barrier. This enables them to influence regions in the brain involved in memory and motor function, and enhance neural connections, thereby improving cellular communication and stimulating neural regeneration.

Cocoa flavanols from dark chocolate improve vision and cognitive function

Potent cacao flavanols from dark chocolate have proven effective in lowering the risk from heart disease and sudden heart attack in recent studies. Writing in the journal Physiology and Behavior, researchers demonstrate that antioxidants released by consumption of cocoa products can improve multiple aspects of eyesight and cognitive performance. Scientists from the University of Reading found that improvements in visual function were evident for two and a half hours after ingesting foods high in cocoa flavanols (CF) and certain cognitive brain functions were enhanced. Small amounts of unsweetened dark chocolate can aid visual acuity and boost memory performance.

Prior research studies have shown that the consumption of CF have improved markers of blood hemodynamics, increasing both central and peripheral blood flow. Increased blood flow is an important factor in cerebral health and function and is also essential to the heart and enhanced eyesight. (more…)

Fish Oil and Flaxseed Oil Promote Eye Health

According to a new study, fish oil and flaxseed oil may improve eye moisture. The meibomian glands on the eyelid are sebaceous glands that secrete meibum, which is an oily substance composed primarily of lipids and proteins that helps prevent evaporation of tears. Lack of meibium can result in decreased eye moisture and the sensation of dry eyes. (more…)

Restore and Maintain Good Vision Part 3

In Part 1 of this three part series on natural vision health you learned about the most common vision problems and eye exercises that may help reverse the vision loss. Then in Part 2 you learned about the connection between diet and nutrition and your eyesight. And now here in Part 3, and the last installment in the series, you will learn about herbs and other natural remedies for restoring and maintaining your vision.

Top Herbs for Vision and Eye Health (more…)

Part I, Restore and Maintain Good Vision and Eye Health Naturally

A number of conditions can lead to poor vision and eye health, including near-sightedness, far-sightedness, macular degeneration, presbyopia, glaucoma, astigmatism and cataracts. As we age, we become increasingly susceptible to many of those problems. However, contrary to popular mainstream dogma, such conditions can be prevented and often even successfully reversed.

The most common vision robbing eye problems are: (more…)

Vitamin A Fights Cancer, Blindness, and More

My patients often ask me about the benefits of one trendy supplement or another that’s been in the news. And while some, like vitamin D or green tea, can offer a wealth of healthy benefits, you shouldn’t ignore tried and true nutrients that aren’t getting press.

One essential nutrient that hardly gets any attention these days is vitamin A. It’s one of the basic vitamins that works on many levels to ensure good health. Yet, more than half of us aren’t getting enough on a daily basis.

While you might get some vitamin A in your multivitamin, it’s likely not enough to fill all the needs your body has for this powerful antioxidant nutrient. Here are just some of the ways vitamin A keeps you healthy: (more…)