Even as a modern society with limitless technological advancements at our fingertips, we’ve received some backward information about how we perceive the health of the eyes. Like a permanent wrinkle in the skin that can come with age, we’ve been urged to accept that our vision will grow worse over time. But when you take a closer look, so to speak, it becomes crystal clear. The eyes are highly sensitive organs of sight that can respond to lifestyle and nutritional changes, just like all the other organs in the body. As William Bates, an American physician and ophthalmologist who developed the Bates Method in the 1800s to improve vision by reducing strain on the eye, was quoted as saying, “It is the rule that acute diseases of the lungs, stomach and other parts of the body tend
to complete recovery, and the same fact is true of the eye.”1
TURNING A BLIND EYE
According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), there are almost 2 million adults in the UK who are living with sight loss – or roughly one in 30 people.2
Out of this group, as many as 360,000 people are registered as legally or partially blind. The number of people with sight loss is expected to rise to as many as 4 million in the UK by the year 2050. The RNIB associates this spike in vision loss with an expanding ageing population, once again linking poor vision with old age. To call the possibility of age-related sight loss frightening would be an understatement, and a visit to your ophthalmologist may not provide much comfort. Take, for example, a condition like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a progressive disease that affects the macular of the eye and is considered to be the third leading cause of blindness around the world. Your ophthalmologist may tell you that no such treatment exists for early AMD, based on official guidelines from the National Eye Institute (NEI) in the US.3 But as we will soon explain with supporting research, we now know that this is not even close to the truth. Most, if not all, degenerative eye conditions can be prevented, managed and possibly improved with a combination of lifestyle changes and nutritional therapy. As is the case with all dire health issues, early intervention is key. Let an eye disease progress further into old age, and you may be subjected to any number of costly and aggressive medical treatments. For advanced neovascular AMD, which typically results in severe vision loss, the NEI recommends treatment by drug injection into the eye, retinal laser therapy, or less common laser surgery to destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye.
SEEING IS BELIEVING: TWO PROTECTIVE NUTRIENTS TO FIGHT VISION LOSS
Thankfully, there’s no need to let it get that far, where invasive surgery is the only thing that stands between you and blindness in old age. Nutritional therapy to restore sight loss is a far more economical and often effective fix to preserve vision at any age, with supporting research to back it up. Lutein and zeaxanthin are considered two all-star nutrients for improving and maintaining eye health.
Lutein is a carotenoid that can be found in fruits and vegetables. Acting as an antioxidant, lutein can help to protect healthy cells against outside free radical damage. It’s important to remember that the body does not produce lutein on its own – it can be found in large quantities in green, leafy vegetables, like spinach, as well as in high-quality supplements. For decades, lutein, along with its carotenoid partner zeaxanthin, has been known as one of the most critical eye-care nutrients; both nutrients together have the potential to reduce the risk of chronic eye disease, including cataracts and AMD. Ten years ago, University of Manchester experts suggested that eating spinach, a prime source of lutein, could be enough to protect the eyes from AMD, a leading cause of blindness in the Western world.4 Leading up to their study on AMD, the researchers recommended eating vegetables high in carotenoids or taking a lutein and zeaxanthin supplement. A Journal of Food Science study also confirmed that eating plenty of carotenoids, found in colourful fruits and green, leafy vegetables, can increase visual performance with the possibility of preventing age-related eye diseases.5
Zeaxanthin was identified more than 20 years ago as one of two carotenoid antioxidants needed to support lens and macula health, along with lutein. Like lutein, the body does not produce zeaxanthin on its own. When observed in nature, lutein and zeaxanthin help to absorb excess energy from light to protect plants from being damaged by the sun – and scientists believe that the carotenoids can have the same “buffering” effect in the human eye.
When Ohio State University researchers conducted a laboratory experiment on human lens cells, they discovered that lutein and zeaxanthin could help to protect the cells of the eyes from ultraviolet light exposure, a leading cause of cataract formation. Even more surprising was the fact that the researchers found lutein and zeaxanthin’s protective properties to be almost 10 times more powerful than vitamin E (another eye-protective antioxidant) in shielding healthy cells from UV damage.6
While it is always recommended to eat really healthy foods at each meal – like the colourful fruits and green, leafy vegetables that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin – the most powerful antioxidant dose may come through direct delivery. When lutein and zeaxanthin are taken in a sublingual formula, in combination with other supernutrients and antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin, iodine, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and more, their protective potential increases dramatically. Taking lutein and zeaxanthin, along with other nutrients sublingually, may off er 900 percent better absorption than tablets and can reach the eye within only two minutes. This powerful group of nutrients may guard not only the health of the eyes but the health of the brain and the entire body. Medical experts estimate that as many as 25 percent of people over the age of 65 will experience some form of sight loss but, fortunately, your fate is never sealed. Whether you are 20 or 80, taking the regenerative antioxidants that your eyes need each day can ensure that good health is in sight.
A unique, powerful formula that blends 24 important nutrients, including Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Riboflavin,
which contributes to the maintenance of normal vision.
1. Shrady, G. F., 1894. Medical Record, Volume 45. Print.
2. Royal National Institute of Blind People. How many people in the UK have sight loss? Available at help.rnib.org.uk/help/newly-diagnosedregistration/registering-sight-loss/statistics
3. National Eye Institute, 2015. Facts about agerelated macular degeneration. Available at nei.nih. gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
4. Manchester University, 2006. Why Popeye only has eyes for spinach. Available at www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2006/09/060925055603.htm
5. J Food Sci, 2010 Jan-Feb. 75(1):R24-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01447.x. 6. J Nutr, 2004 Dec. 134(12):3225-32.