Though most conventional physicians attribute cataracts to general aging, we believe that a cataract is often a symptom of an underlying condition due to a metabolic imbalance. It signals that the natural processes of your body are breaking down on some level, and that the normal flow of nutrients into the eyes, and waste products out of the eyes, has been compromised. Because cataracts typically progress slowly over many years there is often time for preventive measures to work quite successfully such as ingesting food with specific nutrients.
The group of nutrients known as antioxidants includes three types: phytonutrients, vitamin/vitamin-like nutrients and enzymes. You will note a common thread among many of these natural nutrients: they protect our eyes against UV radiation, blue light, and oxidative stress. In addition, research has shown that there are other nutrients that are important for vision health: amino acids, minerals, and herbs. We will address the phytonutrients here.
Phytonutrients are a group of nutrients coming from plant pigments. They are divided into groups based on their chemical composition, which is related to their color, making them most easily identified by color group: yellow, red, orange, purple, or blue. As a group, the phytonutrients act as solar radiation filters to help protect plant cells. Plants also use phytonutrients to absorb light and convert that light to energy.
Carotenoids are an important kind of phytonutrient with special importance given to the vision carotenoids: lutein, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, mesozeaxanthin, and lycopene. Their function in the plant world includes coloring, fragrance to attract pollinators, and also to protect against oxidative stress and UV radiation.
Bioflavonoids fulfill many functions that include plant coloring to attract pollinators, engaging in symbiotic relationships with other plant forms, providing UV protection, and protecting against disease. They include anthocyanins such as bilberry and other sub-groupings.
Polyphenols are complex plant chemicals with functions that include growth processes, hormonal adjustments, and protection, such as from UV light and microbes. Tannins found in wood are an example.
-excerpted from the book Natural Eye Care Series: Cataracts click here
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, accounting for about 42 percent of all cases of blindness worldwide affecting about 17 million people. Twenty-eight thousand new cases are reported everyday. About 20 percent of all people over 60 have at least the beginning of a cataract in one or both eyes, and that figure rises to 80 percent for people over 75. If you want to keep your active lifestyle after 75 without becoming one of those statistics watch our free webinar! Click Here for free Webinar
And… we also cover joint pain in this webinar as one of the two complaints many of us have about aging. Many different conditions can lead to painful joints. Knee pain is the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but joint pain can affect any part of your body, from your ankles and feet to your shoulders and hands. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common. So if you to learn more about this and other conditions that may ultimately affect you, please tune it…. no charge for this four video webinar (each one is only about 15 minutes). Click Here for free Webinar
We need to pay attention to our eyes. It is believed that nearly half of Americans have low macular pigment optical density which is a possible risk fact for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This condition gradually destroys sharp, central vision and affects reading and watching TV among other things. People over the age of 60 are in the greatest risk group. Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula break down. This accounts for about 90 % of the cases. Wet AMD is caused when new blood vessels grow under the retina and then bleed or leak damaging the macula. 90% of all AMD blindness is caused by this type. Prevention includes proper diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin found readily in spinach and kale. Flavonoid carotenoids found in goji berry, spinach and ginkgo biloba hae good active levels of these phytocompounds. Along with lutein and zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, omega-3s and bilbery extract are among the extracts that have been utilized in supporting vision health. Dr. Michael Geiger has written a good little book called Eye Care Naturally. It is available on amazon.com and gives you good information on combatting not only AMD but cataracts and other eye conditions that we may face as we age.