Secrets to Keep Your Vision Sharp
Vision problems are serious. And the recent revelation that an award-winning actress suffers from declining vision reminds us of this fact.
But while she can continue working – by having someone read scripts to her – most people with declining vision aren’t so lucky. For most people, declining vision means a shrinking world… and the gradual loss of independence.
But vision loss isn’t inevitable. Many people maintain good vision well into their 80’s, 90’s and beyond. Here are some of the secrets that help them keep their vision sharp.
You may have heard that vitamins A, C and E – along with zinc and copper – promote healthy vision. And it’s true. The famous AREDS study found them an effective combination of nutrients.1
But you may not have heard that the study used higher amounts of these vitamins than you can get from a normal diet. You’ll need to take a supplement to get the effective levels of these nutrients.
Vitamins aren’t the only nutrients that can help you keep your vision sharp. A few less-known nutrients can have a big impact on your eyes.
Vitamin A is the most famous vision nutrient. It comes from plant pigments known as carotenoids. But two of its “cousins” may be even more important to your eyes.
Together, lutein and zeaxanthin make up 100% of your eyes’ macular pigment. This pigment determines how well you see details.
Several studies have shown that taking supplements with these plant pigments supports healthy vision – especially promoting clear vision against glare.2,3
Green, leafy vegetables are a good source of lutein. Orange peppers have a high zeaxanthin content. Kiwi fruit, spinach and several types of squash contain a fair amount of both. You’ll also find these nutrients in some eye health formulas.
Another type of plant pigment – found in bilberries and currants – also appears to promote healthy vision.
Anthocyanins have up to 3.5 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E. They’re famous as the reason bilberry jam is said to support good night vision. And research shows they may also promote overall eye health.4
Australia’s Blue Mountain Eye Study revealed another type of nutrient for your eyes… Omega-3 fatty acids.
This study compared the diets of 2,454 people for up to 10 years. The researchers discovered that some people had a 31 – 45% lower risk of certain common eye problems. These people ate either 1 serving of fish each week, or 1 – 2 servings of nuts.5
The Australian team also found people at lower risk ate less of another substance: linoleic acid (LA). You’ll find high amounts of LA in vegetable oils, such as safflower, sunflower and corn oils.
Finally, a delicate flower may help you maintain eye health. It’s the periwinkle, and it’s the source of vinpocetine.
30 years of studies show that vinpocetine supports healthy detail vision.6,7 It’s popular in Europe where it’s been well studied. Vinpocetine promotes circulation in the eyes, which probably explains its effectiveness.
Vinpocetine may slow blood clotting, so check with your doctor before you take it. You’ll find it available in some health food stores and online.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Hammond, B.R. Jr. and Johnson, M.A., “The age-related eye disease study (AREDS),” Nutr Rev. Sep 2002; 60(9): 283-288.
2 Richer, S., et al, “Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial),” Optometry. Apr 2004; 75(4): 216-230.
3 Stringham, J.M. and Hammond, B.R., “Macular pigment and visual performance under glare conditions,” Optom Vis Sci. Feb 2008; 85(2): 82-88.
4 Zafra-Stone, S., et al, “Berry anthocyanins as novel antioxidants in human health and disease prevention,” Mol Nutr Food Res. Jun 2007; 51(6): 675-683.
5 Tan, J.S.L., et al, “Dietary Fatty Acids and the 10-Year Incidence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration:
The Blue Mountains Eye Study,” Archives of Opthalmology. May 2009; 127(5).
6 Kahan, A. and Olah, M., “Use of ethyl vinpocetine in ophthalmological therapy,” Arzneimittelforschung 1976;2 6(10a): 1969-1972
7 Avetisov, S.E., et al, “Effect of vasoactive agents on visual functions and ocular blood flow in patients with early manifestations of age-related macular degeneration,” Vestnik Oftalmologii. May-Jun 2007; 123(3): 26-28.