Nutrition for Vision

While most people don't realize it, what you eat can affect how you see! Our eyes are as much a part of our bodies as any other organ, so they are influenced by our nutrition. New research has confirmed that nutrition can make a difference in our eye health. Most affected are conditions of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Dry Eye Syndrome, Cataracts and Glaucoma. Dr. Anshel now lectures on these conditions and how to resolve them with proper nutrition.

Read More on Dr. Anshel's nutrition website >>

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Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is the most frequent patient complaint to eye doctors. Approximately 20 percent of the adult population suffers from varying degrees of dry eye problems it is a common disorder of the tear film that results from decreased tear production and excessive tear evaporation. Dry eye syndrome is commonly associated with a systemic inflammatory process and like most eye diseases it is often related to health condition in the rest of the body.

The causes of dry eyes includes normal aging of the tear glands, extended use of contact lenses, environmental pollutants, prescription drugs, refractive surgery, autoimmune diseases and nutrient deficiencies that cause a disruption in the tear production and retention process.

The typical symptoms of dry eye syndrome include dryness, grittiness, irritation, difficulty reading for long periods of time, burning and even the apparent contradiction of excessive tearing or watering. In extreme dry eye cases, patients may become unusually sensitive to light, experience severe eye pain and diminished vision. A combination of treatments may be necessary to protect the vision of these patients.

These symptoms have traditionally been treated with artificial tears, which provide temporary relief, plugs that block the tear drainage system, corticosteroids- which are not appropriate for long term use. More recently eye doctors have been using a mild form of an antibiotic to address the inflammation of the tears. However, none of these treatments address the source of the problem.

The tears are formed in two sets of glands: tiny glands in the eye covering tissue (responsible for normal tear levels) and also in the tear gland (used for crying and washing out foreign bodies). If the regular tear level is decreased, then the brain will sense this and ask the tear gland to compensate by flushing the eye with tears. Thus, sometimes a dry eye person will come into the doctor complaining about too much tearing! This is called "reflex" tearing and is just as much of a concern as an eye that is too dry.

The tear glands contain nerves that stimulate tear production, as well as hormone receptors that help maintain moisture in the tissue. Since the brain controls both of these systems, then it follows that an internal approach to producing better tears would be effective.

The body requires the consumption of the essential oils for lubrication of the joints and the eyes, and for restoration of normal lubrication to the body. There are good fats and bad fats. The undesired fats, called saturated fats, are found in meats, fried foods, butter, dairy products, and margarine. The good fats, especially the omega-3 oils, are polyunsaturated and are found in cold-water fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts. There has been a large amount of debate on the nutritional aspects of treating dry eyes but we now know that the fish oils and Omega-6 essential fatty acids, in the right combination can effectively treat this condition.

Black Current Oil is an excellent source of Omega-6 of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) because it is the most biochemically stable source of linoleic acid (LA), and it also contains 18% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which consistently converts to the series E1 prostaglandin (PGE1) anti-inflammatory that systemically supports proper tear function. The series E prostaglandin augments eicosanoid (specific white blood cells) levels and thereby relieves chronic inflammation- a system cause of dry eye syndrome. The series E1 prostaglandin is beneficial in inhibiting inflammation in all mucousal tissue, and it is a particularly efficacious anti-inflammatory in both tears and saliva.

However, aging, smoking, alcohol, viral infection, cardiovascular disease, hormonal fluctuation, sugar consumption and chemical carcinogens can hinder the EFA Delta 6 Desaturase (D6D) enzymatic conversion to PGE1 unless it is aided by specific nutrient co-factors such as vitamins A, C, B6 and magnesium. These nutrients also stimulate goblet cell production, lacrimal gland aqueous tear production and meibomian gland function.

To further insure the Omega 6 downstream conversion to PGE1, it is necessary to also block the Delta 5 Desaturase (D5D) EFA enzymatic metabolic conversion to Arachidonic Acid (AA), which can convert to the pro-inflammatory COX2 and prostaglandin E2. The proper balance of nutrients will systemically block this enzymatic conversion with the addition of vitamin E gamma tocopherols, EPA from Cod Liver Oil, and the natural COX2 inhibitor Curcumin. The apo-lactorferrin increases aqueous level of iron binding proteins to better inhibit viral and bacterial infections. This protein also helps modulate the surface tension of the tear film.

Flax Seed Oil has been touted by many as an appropriate treatment for dry eye syndrome. Unfortunately, the therapeutic results are “hit or miss”. Flax seed oils also called linseed oil- the oil that is used in varnish. Although flax seed oil contains impressive amounts of Omega 3 ALA, it’s the most chemically unstable of the essential fatty acid oils; therefore the chances of flax seed oil metabolizing to the more biochemically active Omega 3 fatty acids, EPS and DHA is limiter. Diets that include small fish at lease twice a week are a much healthier way of obtaining Omega 3 EPS/DHA fatty acids, which are impressively linked to good health.

To find the best treatment for dry eyes, I recommend BioTears by Biosyntrx. To review the product or order, please click here.

   Chronic Eye Diseases

Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Dry Eye Syndrome



The Immune System


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