One question I get many times is can age-related conditions of the eyes such cataracts, macular degeneration and poor eyesight be reversed naturally? Well, it depends if you’re willing to walk away from a poor diet and give you eyes the nutrition they need. The great news is, it’s never too late to start! So let’s get going!
Nutrients for Healthy Eyes
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine – this nutrient will convert into the amino acid antioxidant Glutathione which is found in high concentrations in the lens of the eye.
- Vitamin A – I prefer the use of fish oil based Vitamin A instead of the carotenoids. Those who suffer with diabetes and hypothyroidism will not be able to convert the carotenoids such as beta-carotene to usable vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed for healthy eye tissue.
- Vitamin C - The American Optometric Association--AOA--reports that the antioxidant qualities of vitamin C may be able to slow or reverse the progression of cataracts. The dose should be a minimum of 1,000mg per day, but the best dose is 2-4,000mg per day. Smokers or those who recently quit should use the maximum level as smoking is a huge creator of free radicals.
- Vitamin E – This nutrient helps to strengthen the eyes muscles as well as reducing free radicals in the eyes. It can be helpful in preventing macular degeneration. Vitamin E is found naturally in wheat germ, nuts and seeds. If you supplement, choose a high quality vitamin E with all the tocopherols in it. Never buy cheap vitamin E, your eyes deserve better than that.
- Carotenoids – Astaxanthin, Zeaxanthin, and Lutein. These are nutrients are vital for eye health. Astaxanthin is four times more effective for preventing macular degeneration than lutein, plus you get the added benefit of being anti-cancer and reduces free radicals in the brain. Astaxanthin is found in lobster, crabs and salmon as their red coloring is the indication of their astaxanthin content. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are found in our colorful fruits and vegetables and we should be eating those every day. A recent study demonstrated that higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin along with vitamin E significantly decreased the risk of cataracts.
- Carnosine – This nutrients seems to be perfect for the eyes in the way of eye drops. Many studies are showing carnosine can actually reverse cataracts. This nutrient can be created in the human body by taking Beta-alanine and histidine which converts into carnosine. It’s the amino acid that can help reverse cell damage and make old cells new again. The studies on this nutrients are eye opening to say the least. It can be taken internally as a supplement, but the eye drops are suggested for eye health to have the desired direct effect.
- Maqui Berry – The most powerful antioxidant berry ever discovered. Grown in southern Chile. This extract directly enhances your body’s ability to make tears. This treatment has been found to address the cause of dry eyes—with research proving its use leads to long-lasting improvements in eye comfort. Research now shows that a standardized extract of maqui berries (Aristotelia chilensis) contains plant chemical compounds (anthocyanins) known as delphinidins that have two powerful eye-protective actions: They inhibit damage to delicate tissues like the photoreceptor cells, caused by light stimulation, and They shield eye structures from constant exposure to reactive oxygen species. Together, these effects reduce chronic low-grade injury to the lacrimal glands, improving its ability to make tears. Additional mechanisms are not yet known, but animal studies show that delphinidins restore tear production by the lacrimal glands.
Tanaka J, Kadekaru T, Ogawa K, et al. Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) and the constituent delphinidin glycoside inhibit photoreceptor cell death induced by visible light. Food Chem. 2013 Aug 15;139(1-4):129-37.
So let’s go back to the original question. Can age-related eye conditions be reversed? Depends. Cataracts if caught while they are still small, the use of nutrition and carnosine eye drops have shown to stop them in their tracks and reverse them. Macular degeneration can be slowed or stopped when the proper nutrients are taken and the diet correctly to include more healthy foods. When it comes to macular degeneration the nutrients above focused more on the dry form of the disease. If you are suffering with the wet form, add melatonin at night. Studies are showing melatonin can reverse the wet form of macular degeneration.
Sugar is the most detrimental to eye health. Sugar is needed to fuel the eyes, but refined sugar will cross link with proteins and lead to damage to the lens and other parts of the eyes. So get the sugar and everything in your diet ending in ‘ose’ out of your diet! You’ll live longer, see better and prevent a host of diseases in the process.
Healthy, bright, clear eyes will be the result when you add fruits, vegetables, dark green foods to your daily diet. Add those nuts and seeds for stronger eye muscles.
You’ll see your world getting clearer, naturally.