Get a Boost for Better Vision
If you’re over 40, you’ve probably lived through this common ritual… possibly many times.
A group of people are sitting at a restaurant table, getting ready to order. Someone at the table squints at the menu and pulls out a pair of those drug-store magnifying glasses. After putting on the glasses, they still have to hold the menu at arm’s length to read it.
Someone else at the table then shakes their head and says – only half jokingly – “The first things to go are the eyes.”
Every year, millions of Americans notice their vision isn’t as sharp as it used to be. Most of them accept declining vision as a normal part of “getting older.” But it really isn’t.
The fact is, you can promote healthy, clear vision for years longer than you may have imagined. Several nutrients support eye health and sharp vision. Today, we’ll discuss one that may be hard to pronounce… but it delivers big benefits.
Anthocyanosides are a group of plant pigments that have tremendous antioxidant power. When Tufts University scientists tested 14 of these pigments, they found that even the weakest one was as strong as vitamin E. Others were up to 3-1/2 times more powerful than vitamin E.1
But these plant pigments really shine when it comes to your eyes. Many studies show these powerful antioxidants also promote better eye health.
German researchers, for example, gave anthocyanosides to a group of patients who were suffering from blood vessel problems in their eyes. The anthocyanosides promoted stronger, healthier blood vessels in the retina – a key to maintaining healthy vision.2
In a second German study, adding these plant pigments to vitamin E supported healthier vision in 80% of nearsighted patients.4
You may know that “blue light” – such as ultraviolet – can damage your eyes. UV light triggers the production of free radicals – molecules that attack cell membranes and even DNA.
In the lab, a Columbia University team showed that anthocyanosides promote lower levels of this type of light damage in retinal cells.3
Korean scientists found another benefit for nearsighted people. Anthocyanosides appear to promote an improved ability to see differences between objects and their backgrounds.5
These studies – and many others using both animals and humans – show that anthocyanosides can provide a huge benefit for your eyes. But a name like that is hard to remember. So I’ll give you an easier one:
That’s right. Anthocyanosides are the major pigments found in bilberries.
At this point, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute. I’ve heard rumors that bilberries don’t really work. So what gives?”
Well, those rumors started with a few studies that found bilberries may not support better night vision. But when a pair of English scientists looked at the studies, they found two important weaknesses:
- Eleven of the 12 negative night vision studies used people with normal or above average night vision. So there wasn’t much room for improvement to begin with.
- The studies with negative results also used smaller amounts of bilberry extract than studies that had positive results.6
Besides, bilberries boost eye health in so many ways, supporting better night vision would just be a bonus.
Our friends may make eyesight jokes in restaurants. But good vision is no laughing matter. Almost every activity you enjoy is enhanced by good vision. So anything that promotes healthier eyesight seems like a smart move to me.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Wang H, et al. Oxygen Radical Absorbing Capacity of Anthocyanins. J. Agric. Food Chem., 1997, 45 (2), pp 304–309.
2 Scharrer A and Ober M. Anthocyanosides in the treatment of retinopathies. Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 1981 May;178(5):386-9.
3 Sparrow JR, et al. A2E-epoxides damage DNA in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Vitamin E and other antioxidants inhibit A2E-epoxide formation. J Biol Chem. 2003 May 16;278(20):18207-13. Epub 2003 Mar 19.
4 Politzer M. Experiences in the medical treatment of progressive myopia. Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 1977 Oct;171(4):616-9.