Image via USDA
Blueberries and their European cousins, bilberries, have long been used to regulate blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Recent studies of mice are convincing researchers of the bilberry’s potential in helping people deal with diabetes.
A study published in Nutrition Journal describes a trial involving the examination of the effect of consuming oat meal drinks that contained bilberries or rosehips on healthy young adults. Researchers specifically looked at how these drinks influenced individuals’ glycemic indexes and insulin levels. The drinks with bliberry induced a lower insulin response. Scientists credit either the bilberry or the oat meal base. Source: Nutrition Journal (Published: 21 May 2011).
Bilberries are also known to impact eye health in remarkably positive ways. mostly due to their antioxidant properties. Studies show it has helped patients who suffer from diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, just to name a few conditions.
Image via USDA
The latest edition of Agricultural Research from the USDA is all about the powerful blueberry.
In one article, “Blueberries and Your Health: Scientists Study Nutrition Secrets of Popular Fruit,” researcher Xianli Wu describes his work with blueberries and their ability to reduce atherosclerosis.
“It’s already known that oxidative stress can increase atherosclerosis risk,” says Wu, “so the beneficial interactions of blueberries with these antioxidant enzymes are of interest to us. Since our center specializes in children’s nutrition research, we also want to determine whether blueberry-based interventions early in life could prevent atherosclerosis from developing in later years. If Mom eats blueberries during her pregnancy and feeds blueberries to her child, would that have a protective effect for the child? We don’t know, but that’s something we’d like to determine.”
Other studies have shown that diets rich in antioxidants – especially those found in blueberries – can be instrumental in helping people avoid macular degeneration.
image by USDA.gov
Macular xanthophylls, perhaps better known as lutein and zeaxanthin, are well known for their role as protectors against age related macular degeneration (AMD).
Research at the University of Georgia is also finding that lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation can help people with healthy vision. Taking dietary supplements high in lutein and zeaxanthin will boost one’s ability to deal with glare and helps people recover more quickly from blinding flash of light.
One more reason to boost your intake of these great little compounds? They have been linked to improved cognitive health in older adults.
Learn more about how these antioxidants can help support your vision.
Image by brokenarts
The pigments in the macula of the eye are predominantly composed of three carotenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin.
Researchers describe have determined that these pigments, called xanthophylls, act as both filters and antioxidants and how they protect the eye from the onset of macular degeneration. Evidence suggests that increased levels of macular pigment are related to a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration. Previous studies reveal that oral supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin can increase the levels of macular pigments in the retina and plasma.
Macular xanthophylls are made of the same compounds that cause egg yolks to be yellow too. Eating eggs (preferably organic from free-range chickens) can actually help decrease your chances of developing the potentially blinding macular degeneration. Learn more about how the nutrients in your food can support your eye health and overall health.
Computer eye strain affects over 90% of frequent computer users.
A study out of Japan shows the benefits of taking the antioxidant astaxanthin if one wishes to alleviate eye strain and related symptoms.
A couple of randomized double blind placebo controlled pilot studies demonstrated the positive effects of astaxanthin supplementation on visual function. In one study, 13 participants who received 5 mg astaxanthin per day for one month showed a 54% reduction of eye fatigue complaints.
In another study focused on sports vision t depth perception and critical flicker fusion had improved by 46% and 5% respectively when participants took a daily does of 6 mg of astaxanthin. The effect of astaxanthin on visual performance prompted a number of other clinical studies to evaluate the optimum dose and identify the mechanism of action.
An astaxanthin-treated group (including only people who were asthenopia-negative) were able to recover more quickly than a control group after heavy visual stimulus. Later, Iwasaki & Tawara (2006) also confirmed the same tendencies of subjective eye fatigue complaints in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled double-crossover study.
Learn more about the power of astaxanthin.
Fore more research into computer eye strain, visit our website.
Last week was World Glaucoma Week. Even Mayor Bloomberg of New York City released a proclamation marking the occasion. It is important that a disease so damaging and so insidious should have such broad attention. Glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief,” because most individuals with undiagnosed glaucoma do not suffer from any symptoms until the disease is significantly advanced and they begin to notice a reduction in their peripheral vision.
What can you do to prevent glaucoma or slow the progression of glaucoma?
Eat your green leafy veggies.
Sip some green tea.
Cut back on your time at the computer.
Several studies have found that the antioxidant astaxanthin can help people suffering from asthenopia or eye fatigue. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, a special kind of antioxidant that packs ten times more punch than its famous cousin beta-carotene. It is antioxidant abilities are 500 times more powerful than vitamin E.
A 2002 study found that 5 mg astaxanthin per day for one month resulted in a 54% reduction of eye fatigue complaints. A later study concluded that 6 mg per day for a month improved eye fatigy symptoms such as tiredness, soreness, dryness and blurred vision. Source: Asthenopia research pages
Learn more about the powers of astaxanthin at our website.
In addition to removing a cataract, cataract surgery can also lower eye pressure. Eye pressure or intraocular pressure is often (but not always) associated with the development of glaucoma.
A study presented at the American Glaucoma Society meeting explains how patients who had ocular hypertension before cataracts surgery exhibited a marked decrease in eye pressure after the procedure. Their pressure readings decreased by 18%. They were not taking any medication to lower their eye pressure. Source: OSN Super Site
It is possible to avoid what has become the most common surgery in the US – cataract removal – through a combination of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Learn more about how to prevent cataracts naturally. Fighting free radicals by boosting you antioxidant intake is a great place to start.
You can also learn more about how to prevent glaucoma by reading up on other studies on our glaucoma research pages.
March is the American Dietetic Association’s National Nutrition Month.
This year, the theme is “Eat Right with Color.” That seems particularly fitting since seeing color is one of the things we value most about our eyes. The colors of the foods we eat – we are specifically talking about fruits and vegetables here – are often indicative of the nutrients they will deliver.
Check out the ADA’s guide for what colors indicate what great health benefits.
What’s an optometrist’s favorite color? Blue.
Bilberry (a cousin of the blueberry) is the ultimate eye food, mainly because it contains carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants. Getting your does of blue foods will help anyone concerned about Poor Night Vision, Glaucoma, Myopia , Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy , Cataracts , or Computer Eye Syndrome.
Learn about how to prevent and treat diabetes naturally at our website.
Also, get the facts about the related condition, diabetic retinopathy.
Image via nei.gov
Fuchs dystrophy is a slowly progressing disease that occurs when endothelial cells gradually deteriorate without any apparent reason. Eventually, it causes the cornea to swell and makes vision distorted.
A study published in The American Journal of Pathology indicates that oxidative stress plays a part in the onset of Fuchs corneal dystrophy. People affected with the disease showed much higher levels of oxidative DNA damage in their eyes that the control group that did not have the disease. Source: http://www.journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ajpa/article/PIIS0002944010602817/abstract
Antioxidants are well known to play a vital role in eye health. Extensive studies have shown that taking antioxidants in the form of food and nutritional supplements can help prevent and even reverse such eye conditions as macular degeneration,and cataracts.
Learn more about how to treat Fuch’s dystrophy naturally.