Macular degeneration is the leading cause of visual loss in Europeans and North Americans over the age of 50. It is thought to be the direct result of free radical damage to the macula, a small area located at the centre of the retina. The macula is responsible for fine vision.
A 79-year-old woman recently consulted me because a top expert in eye diseases diagnosed her as having macular degeneration. She was told that nothing could be done and, to quote the specialist, "You are going to go blind."
As it turns out, this was not only discouraging for my patient, but a completely wrong prediction.
Here's the advice I gave this patient:
• Eat more legumes, which have a cleansing effect due to their high content of sulphur-containing amino acids.
• Consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, especially yellow vegetables.
• Berries are wonderful-particularly blueberries because of their high content of anthocyanidins.
• Cherries are valuable because they offer carotenes, flavonoids, and vitamins E and C.
• Carotenoids-lutein and zeaxanthin-are most strongly associated with reduced risk of macular degeneration. The best sources are spinach, kale, and collard greens.
None of these natural supplements have any serious side effects. Take the following antioxidant supplements each day:
• Beta-carotene: 100,000 IU
• Green powder: Choose an enzymatically active green "superfood" powder. Green products are high in carotenoids. Take 1 tablespoon in 15 ml of water or juice.
• Vitamin C: 2,000 mg three times daily
• Pycnogenol: 300 mg (from either pine bark extract or grape seed extract)
• Coenzyme Q10: 100 mg three times daily
• Vitamin E: 400 IU three times daily
• Selenium: 600 mcg
• Zinc chelate or citrate: 100 mg. Several published studies support the use of zinc supplements to help reverse numerous eye disorders including macular degeneration.
Research reveals that the following botanical medicines also show impressive results with macular degeneration:
• Ginkgo biloba extract: 250 mg
• Bilberry extract: 80 mg twice daily (25% anthocyanidin content). Bilberry is used in Europe for cataracts, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also prevent further damage from glaucoma by working as an antioxidant in the eyes. Its anthocyanidins increase vitamin C levels (a critical nutrient for healthy eyes) within the cells and decrease capillary fragility.
A six-month follow-up visit to the eye specialist showed complete clearing of this patient's macular degeneration.
Dr. Zoltan Rona