Eye Health



Our eyesight is precious to us and can be protected from disease and breakdown. Maintaining optimal eye health is a part of what a Nutritarian eating style can do for you.

 
  • Overview
  • Action Plan
  • Ask The Doctor
  • Related Info

Overview


There are many diseases that can affect the eyes, but the most common include:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Retinopathy (diabetic primarily)
  • Others

The good news is that these conditions are highly influenced by changes in one’s eating habits. A Nutritarian eating style protects the eyes in many ways, including:

  • Maintains normal blood sugar
  • Maintains healthy blood vessels in the back of the eye
  • Provides sufficient amounts of eye-protecting nutrients, including carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene), zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many others

It is important to remember that supplementing with these nutrients alone does not lead to the same protection and may even be harmful depending on the nutrient and dose. A Nutritarian eating style is rich in eye-protective nutrients and along with the conservative supplements I recommend, assure nutritional completeness and can protect your eyes for life. What we have learned with nutritional science updates over the years is that what is good for your other organs is also good for your eyes, and a Nutritarian eating style fits the bill for the entire body.

 

Action Plan


Diet

  • A Nutritarian diet supplies the micronutrients that support eye health.
  • Including generous amounts of leafy greens and orange and yellow vegetables and fruits will provide sufficient lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that are associated with improved eye health. If suffering from eye disease, add a glass of fresh squeezed mixed vegetable juice or a green salad smoothie to your daily routine.

Sun exposure

  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
 

Ask The Doctor


The following are sample questions from the Ask the Doctor Community Platinum and higher members can post their health questions directly to Dr. Fuhrman. (All members can browse questions and answers.)

Q.

Please advise me on how to best address macular degeneration. My doctor advised that it is an irreversible condition. He recommended a mega Vitamin A supplement as the only means to delay the progression of the disease. I know that you do not recommend vitamin A, so I have stopped taking it. Can you please advise me on dietary and/or supplemental alternatives?

A.

The best thing you can do to mitigate further decline is to have a wide array of high nutrient dense vegetables and fruits. This is not an irreversible condition. Eat lots of leafy, cruciferous greens, carrots, spinach, squashes, berries, mango, beets, and nuts/seeds. Women’s Daily Formula and DHA/EPA Purity would be of benefit. Rely on food to get the thousands of important phytonutrients that you need to fight this disease. You may want to include a blended green salad smoothie or a glass of green heavy (carrot/beet) juice each day.

 
Q.

My eye doctor just told me that I have Wet Macular Degeneration in my left eye. The doctor and I did speak a bit about options, and among them was the injection of Avastin. I have heard you say that you have been very successful in halting/reversing macular degeneration. The doctor said they may want to do something on the spot, but I want to get your input.

My diet is fairly good, about 85% Nutritarian. My only issue is that I drink six cups of coffee with sugar per day. Should I give up all coffee right now? I also take supplements such as zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, dha/epa, B12, and D3.

  1. What specific recommendations do you have?
  2. Is there any reason that I should rush into a treatment on the spot? I have read that with the wet type, vision loss could happen very quickly.
A.

Yes, stop the coffee, or go down to one daily. Eat a diet high in mushrooms, cruciferous greens, shallots, and scallions for their anti-angiogenic effects. Tumeric, flaxseeds, berries, and resveratrol may also help.

Move up to 100 percent healthy eating for now. Remember G-BOMBS. Whether you start treatment immediately or not depends on the degree it has advanced, but it sounds like this is early enough that you can wait a few months and do a perfect diet and recheck to see if it is improving.

 
Q.

I read a summary of a study that led me to believe an egg a day would give me the lutein and zeaxanthin necessary for preventing macular degeneration. The summary suggested there are plant sources for what would be needed for prevention but said plant sources were not as useable by the body. Are there plant sources that the body can readily benefit from to prevent macular degeneration? What would these be?

A.

Macular degeneration is a dietary-caused disease that is improved or reversed with a Nutritarian diet and worsened with more animal products in the diet (like eggs). It is not just from a deficiency of lutein and zeaxanthin, but those are nutrients abundant in greens and other natural plant-foods, which is how they get into eggs.

 
Q.

I just got some bad news from my optometrist. The haze that has developed in my eyes is from cataracts. Pictures of my eyes from two years ago show no cataracts. Is there anything on a Nutritarian diet that could cause this rapid development of cataracts? The last six months I have been eating so healthfully; why would cataracts rapidly form now? This is not what I would expect to happen.

A.

Cataracts are prevented by high micronutrient eating and avoidance of mid-day and excessive sun exposure. In this case, you caused too much damage in your earlier life to inhibit their expression with just 6 months of healthy eating. The susceptibility to sun damage to the lens can increase with aging.

 
Q.

Can a Nutritarian diet halt the progression of cataracts? If that can be done, I would find that preferable to surgery. I am aware that cataract surgery is very successful but there is still a risk, and if the correction I get with new glasses is acceptable, I would prefer that route. What specific foods would you recommend? Would you suggest any supplements?

A.

Supplements and even diet can protect the vision but not have an effect on cataracts once they are formed. Sun damage is number one. A healthy diet and avoidance of the sun may help prevent or slow progression, but I have never seen a case reverse.