Please live a healthy
is an imperfect science.
Hunter 'Patch' Adams
Modern medicine or Nature's Way?
For 25 years I relied on doctors for my health, because modern medicine
leads us to believe that we are born with a deficiency of drugs
and an excess of body parts. Since then I've learned that
we mostly just tend to overdose on unnatural foods & drinks,
and all we really lack is a thorough understanding of the laws of
nature. For instance, some people who have dry eyes are simply
dehydrated and/or don't blink enough, and the dry eyes are really
not due to an eye-drop deficiency.
I believe the ideal method of taking the necessary nutrients in
the quantities required is of course Nature's way, i.e. to eat fresh
natural foods which have not been artificially interfered with or
processed. For the best nutritional value, your diet should
include lots of whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic foods, preferably
grown in mineral rich soils. Rather than spending time and money
on supplements, spend a little time studying which nutrients are
in which foods, or what the body requires to make its own supply.
Eating fresh organic, if possible home-grown, foods is most beneficial
to your health.
Best food for your eyes:
Most people instantly think of carrots when asked to name a food
that's good for their eyes. You may be surprised that the
number one food for the eyes is actually kale. The following
is a list of foods that promote eye-health.
Dark green leafy vegetables: kale, spinach, fresh parsley,
collard greens, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens,
chard, endive, lettuce, cabbage, pak choi, and herbs such as parsley,
this article about eating leafy
greens to see clearly.
Yellow/orange vegetables: carrots, corn, pumpkin, sweet peppers,
chili peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash.
Other vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, green peas, green
beans, avocado. garlic.
Yellow/orange fruits citrus fruits, apricots, peaches, dark
cherries, cantaloupe, watermelon, persimmons, nectarines, bananas,
apples, papaya, pineapple, mango, grapes.
Most berries, especially gojiberries, bilberries and blueberries.
Beans & lentils: soybeans/edamame, kidney,
black, white, yellow, pink, navy, pinto, adzuki, roman, garbanzo.
Nuts: pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts,
almonds, macadamia, peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts.
Seeds: sunflower, flax, sesame, pumpkin, poppy,
mustard, chia, squash.
For some guidance regarding what nutrients are found in what
foods, check this
If you do wish to try supplements, Vision Health is a good overall vision supplement made by Emerald Labs - their products are additive-free, which many other companies can't claim.
(May 2022 update on Vision Health: it no longer contains NAC, which has been replaced by Setria L-Glutathione, while their whole food proprietary blend now has tocotrienol complex (a form of Vitamin E) added in, and the blend has been reduced from 458mg to just 100mg. Reasons? - Likely mainly due to FDA making noise in 2021 about wanting to ban NAC as a supplement (it's a 'drug' instead, they claim), and big stores like Amazon are already wiping NAC-containing supplements off their shelves, ahead of legally needing to do so... Vision Health is still a good product that's free of nasty ingredients, so I'll continue to say it is probably the better one to get. If the NAC storm blows over, we can all ask Emerald Labs to return to its original formula.)
You'll find more options at naturaleyecare.com - they sell a large range of products for most vision conditions
and they ship worldwide.
Vision supplements can be useful in
helping the body and eyes get back into balance after a deficiency
occurs. However, for the long term it is best to assess how the
deficiency came about, address that problem, and implement appropriate
changes in diet or lifestyle so supplements are no longer needed.
There simply is no better way to get all the nutrients you need
than through delicious healthy whole foods.
Cautionary note about vision
A special note of caution regarding vision supplements is that many
of them will have high doses of Vitamin A and/or beta carotene.
Both are nutrients the eyes need, yet they are far more beneficial
for you when they come from your food, and can actually be detrimental
to your health in the form of supplements. An excessive intake of
Vitamin A and beta carotene is a potential health problem due to
an increased risk of cancer and a contributor to osteoporosis.
C is a common supplement and it too, in mega-doses such as 10,000mg,
can lead to visual problems, especially causing floaters and increasing
the risk of vitreous detachment, retinal detachment, macular pucker,
cellophane maculopathy, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Supplements can easily provide too much of a good thing, thus turning
it into toxic excess. Besides the already mentioned issue with excess
vitamins A and C, this is also true for vitamins B-2 and E and for
copper, zinc, iron and selenium. Obtaining nutrients from your food
typically makes it much harder or impossible to accidentally overdose,
yet there is one exception to this general rule: one Brazil nut
per day provides all the selenium your body requires, while eating
a handful of them creates an overdose. Limit your intake to just
one a day to be safe.
Your goal is to get sufficient amounts of all healthful nutrients,
in their proper balance, without overdosing on any one. In all health
issues, use common sense, and gather as much information as you
Besides 'too much of a good thing' supplements often also have a variety of toxins in them to 'preserve' the main nutrients, or simply to bulk up the content of a capsule. Before taking any supplement, whether for vision or other reasons, it may be smart to first check the ingredients listed on the bottle against this list of toxins that are commonly added. If you find
a match, move on to a better brand.
As an example, the heavily advertised (in 2022) "Vista Clear" supplement has magnesium stearate listed under "other ingredients" and thus, despite good main ingredients, I can't recommend it.
Extra note on the "Bulletproof Eye Armor" supplement: a recent (2021 or 2022) change in their labeling makes it appear to be a fairly decent product, yet their gelatin is bovine gelatin (no longer revealed as such) which makes it problematic for those choosing a vegetarian diet, and their 'Brain octane oil' used to be on the label as 'caprilyc acid triglycerides from highly refined coconut oil' - and any highly refined oil can lead to health problems (see below for an example). Due to this rebranding and attempt to hide what's truly in their product, I wouldn't trust this company and I suggest shopping elsewhere.
medicine leads us to believe
that we are born with a deficiency of drugs
excess of body parts...
What to avoid.
To create health, it's not only important what you eat but also what
you leave out of your diet. The following are best avoided or at least
minimized, especially if you currently have health/vision challenges:
beverages: Coffee, soft drinks, regular tea and any caffeinated
All refined sugars: white, brown, beet, turbinado, cane,
raw, fructose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, lactose, sucralose, aspartame,
neotame, agave, molasses, corn syrup, rice syrup, sorghum syrup,
barley malt, fruit sugar, saccharin, stevia, xylitol, and all artificial
sweeteners. Maple sugar and coconut sugar are only marginally better;
still far from healthy. Raw honey can be a substitute (except for
babies) in sensible small quantities. Fruit sugar, when listed as
a separate ingredient, is also a refined sugar, avoid it! Instead
satisfy your sweet tooth by eating fresh whole fruits which provide
natural sugars that the body can easily deal with because they come
with an impressive array of vitamins, minerals and fibers.
Alcohol: Alcohol destroys many vital nutrients; drinkers
require a higher dosage of vitamins.
Artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives; Dairy products;
Refined grains; White and Refined flours; MSG; Table salt; Hydrogenated
oils; Fried foods.
Food is not only
your best medicine, it is your only medicine
Edward C Kondrot, MD
(Author of 'Healing the Eye the Natural Way')
Healing your eyes naturally.
Although I believe that good nutrition can play a big role in
overcoming eye-diseases, it is important to know that most symptoms
can be relieved with natural vision habits and relaxation, as
those increase circulation to the eyes which is key in any healing
process. Without good vision habits, it will be more challenging
to overcome any eye disease when making changes in nutrition alone.
Nutrients required for healthy
and trace nutrients:
Many nutrients are known to be involved in the healthy functioning
of the eyes:
Alpha Lipoic Acid, Amino Acids, Beta Carotene, Bioflavonoids,
Calcium, Choline, Chromium, Copper, CoQ10, Cysteine, Enzymes, Essential
Fatty Acids (EFAs) especially Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids including
Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA), Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), Glutathione,
Glucosamine, Inositol, Iodine, Lutein, Lycopene, Magnesium, Manganese,
Molybdenum, Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), Phosphorus, Potassium,
Quercetin, Rutin, Selenium, Taurine, Vanadium, Zeaxanthin, Zinc.
Vitamins: (the main ones
are in bold):
A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7 , B-9,
B-12, C, D, E, K.
Good nutrition is important for healthy vision, but can not stand
on its own. A truly healthy lifestyle involves a healthy diet as
well as providing exercise/play, fresh air, clean water, adequate
rest and sleep, emotional poise, sunshine, a sense of purpose, and
The main depletion factors of vital nutrients from the body
are: Stress, Alcohol, Antibiotics and Drugs (both medical and
recreational drugs, including cigarettes). Your eyesight can be negatively affected by various medicines, as well as Botox, Steroids, Atropine eye drops. So read the list of possible side-effects and ask your physician for health-supporting alternatives.
Other problem causers tend to
Refined sugars, soft drinks, caffeinated beverages, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, table salt,
refined grains, dairy products,
MSG, artificial colors, flavorings and preservatives.
Avoid bad habits...
The table below gives a list of vision challenges with their possible
related nutrient deficiency and/or general toxicity. General toxicity
is not a deficiency of nutrients but an excess of harmful substances,
either from a less than optimal diet, or from environmental influences
such as bad air or exposure to chemicals.
of 'sand' under the eyes
under the eyes
|Blepharitis (flaking and swelling of the eyelids)
|Blepharospasm (involuntary twitching of eyelids)
B-6, B-12, Magnesium
B-2, B-6, E, Chromium, GABA
An overdose of Vit A can cause blurred vision.
Many medicines have 'blurred vision' listed as a side effect: check labels and ask for herbal alternatives.
and/or itching of the eyes
Beta Carotene, B-2, B-3, B-9, B-12, C,
D, E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Amino Acids, Calcium,
Chromium, Copper, Cysteine, Glutathione, Quercetin,
Rutin, Selenium, Zinc, Dehydration,
general toxicity (esp. high levels of lead, mercury, iron, cadmium),
lactose intolerance. Smoking and Steroid use can cause cataracts,
as can an excess of vitamins C or E.
|Conjunctivitis (inflammation/redness of the whites of the eyes)
of the eyelids (granulated eyelids)
circles under the eyes
C, E, Selenium, Zinc, EFAs, Magnesium, Bioflavonoids
||C, E, Potassium
B-9, C, Amino Acids
High sugar or alcohol consumption is dehydrating.
Dry eyes, Xerophthalmia
B-6, B-t, B-9, B-12, C, D, E, EFAs, Potassium, CoQ10, Water.
General toxicity and dehydration worsen it (as does a staring habit,
or a low blinking rate.)
tearing of the eyes
spots in visual field
(Also known as Muscae Volitantes)
Carotene, C, E, Calcium, Copper. General toxicity or Vitamin C overdose
can lead to floaters.
|Glaucoma (abnormal pressure in eyes that damages the optic nerve. Normal
pressure is 12-22 mm Hg; 23 and higher may be problematic.)
(esp B-1, B-3, B-12), C, E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Bioflavonoids, Choline,
CoQ10, Magnesium, EFAs, Quercetin, Zinc
High blood sugar can contribute to Glaucoma.
contribute to Glaucoma.
of the eye
||A, D, E,
Quercitin. Insufficient exposure to sunlight
|Keratoconus / Conical
||A, C, E, Lutein, Magnesium,
|Loss of peripheral
Carotene, A, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, C, D, E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Bioflavonoids,
Cysteine, Chromium, Copper, CoQ10, EFAs, Glutathione, Lutein,
Manganese, Quercetin, Selenium, Taurine, Zeaxanthin, Zinc.
General toxicity, smoking, lead exposure, vitamin C or
E overdose, high iron levels and high blood sugar can contribute
to Macular Degeneration.
Diets high in refined oils lead to ARMD. (video)
||C, E, Bioflavonoids
B-9, D, E, Calcium, Chromium.
A diet high in refined sugars can also play a role in developing
myopia. Lack of outdoor time (use of distance vision) also contributes.
Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc
Rosacea (painful, burning, feels like foreign body in eyes)
especially B-2, enzymes
|Photophobia (sensitivity of the eyes to light)
('middle age sight' farsighted, resulting in a need for reading
B-2, B-6, C, E, Glutathione, Iron, Selenium, Zinc.
Highly fluctuating or high blood sugar levels can contribute to
||C, E, Bioflavonoids
detachment or retinitis
General toxicity and Vitamin C overdose can lead to retinal detachment.
(pigment clumps at the back of the eye)
C, E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, EFAs, CoQ10, Cysteine, Taurine, Lutein,
on the eyelids
D, Calcium, Chromium, GABA, Magnesium, Tryptophan, Zinc
of the eyelids or swelling under the eyes
Iodine (causing sluggish thyroid)
to produce tears
E, Bioflavonoids, EFAs, CoQ10, Zinc
Degeneration / Detachment
Excess of Vitamin C, Zinc and/or Vanadium can contribute.
also found and reported that the food-obtained-folate (B-9) appears
to be far more effective in protecting eye and
visual function than the shelf-life-assured pharmacological form
found in vitamin bottles."
Benjamin C. Lane, O.D.
effect of diet on the quality of the tearfilm, especially for
contact lens users.)
This page is for educational and information purposes only. It
is not intended to be or replace a medical diagnosis. Sources
are listed below. This page is not 'FDA approved', so read
at your own risk. However, no preservatives were added and it's
dolphin safe... (anyway, please read the disclaimer)
These are the sources of the information presented on this
- Neal Adams, M.D. (Recommended nutrition book, by an ophthalmologist.)
Self Test Nutrition Guide - Cass Igram, D.O.
Nutrition and the Eyes, Volumes I-III - Bill Sardi
Smart medicine for your eyes - Jeffrey R. Anshel, O.D.
Natural Eye Care, an Encyclopedia - Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac.
& Glen Swartwout, O.D.
Nutrition in Eye Health and Disease - Stanley C Evans, Ophthalmic
Nutritionist & Orthoptist
Sunlight can Save your Life - Kane
Zime M.D., M.S.
Nutrition, Health & Disease - Gary Price Todd, M.D.
The Power Behind your Eyes - Robert Michael Kaplan, O.D.
Nutrioptom.com - Dr. Benjamin Clarence Lane, O.D.
Super Immunity - Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
National Institute of Health, Office
of Dietary Supplements
What Doctors Don't Tell You, June 2013 (Macular Degeneration,
The Epidemiology of Eye Disease - Johnson, Minassian, Weale, 1998
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