Friday, August 14, 2009

Eyesight Care (esp. Macular Degeneration): Herbal Support

Bilberry (aka European blueberry) has been shown to have a beneficial effect on eye-related diseases. Laboratory studies have provided preliminary evidence that bilberry consumption may inhibit or reverse eye disorders such as macular degeneration. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on 50 patients suffering from senile cataract showed that a combination of bilberry extract and vitamin E administered for 4 months was able to stop lens opacity progress in 97% of the cataracts.

^ Fursova AZh, Gesarevich OG, Gonchar AM, Trofimova NA, Kolosova NG (2005). "[Dietary supplementation with bilberry extract prevents macular degeneration and cataracts in senesce-accelerated OXYS rats]" (in Russian). Advances in Gerontology 16: 76–9. PMID 16075680.

A great supplement that I recommend to patients often Eyesight Tonic made by bioessence.

Here is the product information from the company:

Price: $22.00
Item Number: BE67

Eyesight Tonic TM
Eyesight Tonic is a specially-designed nutritional and herbal supplement. It contains a powerful balanced blend of antioxidants and photo-protective ingredients and herbal extracts that provide nutrients to protect the eyes against many primary degenerative conditions.
Natural and artificial lights impact our eye tissue and its function. In order to maintain normal healthy eyes, the body needs to provide the eye tissue with optimum nutrients and to transport the metabolic wastes out quickly and smoothly. When we age; stare too long at artificial light sources, such as TV, computer monitors; or eat an unbalanced diet, our eyesight can also degenerate. Exposure to ultraviolet intensity from the sun, emission from electromagnetic fields by electric appliances, and artificial light sources have increased the risks to our eyesight. The retina is very susceptible to free-radical damage because of its high oxygen consumption, high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and exposure to light. It may be difficult to change our life-style to use our eyes less and let them rest more. But we can still protect the eyes from damage by their most fearful enemies, free radicals caused by the external environment and our own internal metabolism.
Recent articles in the most prestigious medical journals have clearly demonstrated and confirmed the positive benefits of antioxidants and special nutrients for the protection of the eyes against cataract and glaucoma formation and the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Bio Essence has incorporated these nutrients into a powerful, well-balanced formula designed to nourish the eyes and to protect them from these degenerative conditions. Many of the ingredients are antioxidants that offer strong protection against free radicals and oxidative stress. It can also used as supplement with so-called Computer Vision Syndromes, such as eye fatigue, headache, eye strain, blurred vision, light sensitivity, dry and irritated eyes.

Many vitamin supplements that you may find at stores like Walmart, Target, GNC, etc. may already contain bilberry. However, if it is not from a company like the one previous mentioned, odds are there is not enough bilberry in the supplement to make a difference. You may want to consider adding this product from Naturemade.

As always, please consult your physician or a qualified herbalist before adding this or other supplements to you diet.

Stay tuned for a food list that is beneficial for your eyes. If you live in Memphis and want to take care of your eyesight issues naturally with herbs, nutrition and acupuncture please contact our office and ask for Chuck.