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Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon in the U.S., but it affects many people in the developing world. One of first symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency is night blindness, which, if untreated can develop into full scale blindness. According to the World Health Organization Report on Vitamin A Deficiency, night blindness is estimated to affect 5.2 million preschool-age children and 9.8 million pregnant women around the globe.
Writing on a recent case in The Lancet, doctors who treated a pregnant woman who came to the emergency room after several weeks of progressive sight loss described this particular case, “Vitamin A deficiency can be secondary to poor intestinal absorption due to weight loss surgery, Crohn’s disease or pancreatic dysfunction. Our patient had anorexia nervosa and had limited her diet to white onions, white potatoes, and red meat for the past 7 years.”
We usually recommend taking vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A with a small amount of fat in the diet. Food sources of vitamin A include: yellow and orange vegetables (including yams, carrots, mangoes, cantaloupe, apricots, butternut squash,and sweet potatoes), and asparagus, spinach, kale, bok choy. If you wish for additional supplementation, the recommended dose is approximately 15,000 to 25,000 I.U. of beta-carotene daily.
Learn more about food as sources of vital nutrients at our website.
Researchers have discovered a link between the popular anti-depression herb St. John’s wort and the development of cataracts.
Published in Current Eye Research, the study describes the results of questionnaires sent to over 31,000 people over age 40 about cataracts and their use of herbal remedies and treatments over the prior year. Those who reported that they had cataracts were 59% more likely to also report they had used St. John’s Wort. Researchers do make clear that this questionnaire format has limits and further study is necessary to determine whether the correlation is dose dependent and learn more about the timing of taking the supplement and developing the cataract.
In earlier research, Hypericin, an active ingredient in St. John’s wort, was linked with crystallization of the eye’s lenses. But, to date, the association had not been evaluated in humans.
St. John’s wort is a European weed whose extracts have been used for the treatment of mental disorders, particularly depression. It is usually taken as an herbal tea or tablet.
For more research on cataracts causes, treatments, and cures, please visit our website.
In a pilot study, patients suffering from dry eye symptoms who exhibited a chronic need/use of lubricant drops were given X500 mg capsules of evening Primrose oil (Efamol-73% linoleic acid and 10% gamma-linolenic acid), 50 mg vitamin B6 (pyroxidine) and 1 g vitamin C three times a day. Over 50% of those in the study showed substantial improvement within 2-6 weeks. For more information on research on dry eye conditions, please visit our website.
Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, grapes, blueberries, peanuts and other plants, can help preserve vision in those suffering from diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
Researchers have found that resveratrol impedes the growth of new blood vessels in the eye, a condition called angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is linked to eye diseases as well as cancer and atherosclerosis. Resveratrol can inhibit this process; abnormal blood vessels disappears in the eyes of mice to which it was given. Previous studies have reported how resveratrol can work on other blood vessels in the body, but this is first to document the effect in the eyes specifically.
Reported in The American Journal of Pathology. Source: http://www.elements4health.com/resveratrol-could-prevent-eye-diseases-such-as-diabetic-retinopathy.html
According to an article published in The Journal of Pineal Research, evidence from a number of sources supports the assertion that increased free radical generation and altered nitric oxide (NO) metabolism contribute to glaucoma and uveitis. Data indicates that melatonin is an efficient antioxidant that has the ability to fight free radicals and break down nitric oxide and plays ” a promising role in the treatment of these ocular dysfunctions.” Melatonin has few side effects even at high doses and can potentially do a great deal to protect ocular tissue.
For more on vision wellness, visit us at NaturalEyeCare.com.
Source information: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123439574/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
Further studies indicate that bilberry and pine bark extracts can reduce ocular hypertension, a condition related to visual impairment and glaucoma (source: Clinical Ophthalmology, 2010, Volume 4, Pages 471-476).
Bilberry is also associated with improving other eye conditions including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Both cataracts and macular degeneration in particular have been attributed to damage caused by free radicals that can be combated through increased intake of antioxidants. Bilberry’s flavonoids are known as potent antioxidants that can scavenging free radicals and help ward off multiple age-related eye diseases.