Eyes and Eye Health | and the Centenarian Diet
Two very important eye nutrients that may reduce your risk for macular degeneration and cataracts are: lutein (LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin (zee-ah-ZAN-thin). But, you need fat soluble vitamins with these nutrients along with marine Omega-3 fatty acids.
Good nutrition is important to keep your eyes healthy and functioning their best throughout your lifetime. .
The most common form of vision loss associated with aging is called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). But like many other symptoms related to aging and genetic expression, the risk of encountering AMD can be reduced by adjusting one’s diet. (1,2) (Note 1,2)
Two very important eye nutrients that may reduce your risk for macular degeneration and cataracts have names you may not be familiar with: lutein (LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin (zee-ah-ZAN-thin). Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of carotenoids (kuh-RAH-teh-noids), which are yellow to red pigments found widely in vegetables and other plants. Though lutein is considered a yellow pigment, in high concentrations it appears orange-red.
In nature, lutein and zeaxanthin appear to absorb excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from too much sunlight, especially from high-energy light rays called blue light. Relational studies have shown lutein and zeaxanthin function best within the body when coupled with omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] + eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), or both to further improve eye health. (Note 3)
Nitric Oxide in Normal Retinal Function
The retina maintains the highest metabolic rate of any tissue found in the body (3). Illustrative of this point, the oxygen consumption of the mammalian retina (per gram of tissue) is three times greater than that of the cerebral cortex in the brain, and six times that of cardiac muscle. The physiology of the retina is not only rapid, but requires complex processes to achieve its function of transducing photons of absorbed light into trains of neural impulses that ultimately produce vision. (4)
Classically referred to as the “visual cycle”, this process involves at least 10 distinct molecular steps, each of which involves complex interactions between numerous molecules. Nitric oxide (NO), first discovered in the retina roughly 25 years ago (5,6), has been shown to serve many important functions for retinal physiology. (Note 4)
The soluble gas neurotransmitter nitric oxide (NO) serves many important metabolic and neuroregulatory functions in the retina and brain. This is often seen in disease states that involve oxidative stress and inflammation of neural tissues, such as age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.
The dietary xanthophyll carotenoid lutein (L) is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that, if consumed in sufficient amounts, is deposited in neural tissues that require substantial metabolic demand. Some of these specific tissues, such as the central retina and frontal lobes of the brain, are impacted by age-related diseases such as those noted. (6,7) (Note 5)
Importantly, all of the data, without exception, point to the plausibility of lutein’s complementary role with NO in normal and enhanced neural function, and protection against oxidative and inflammatory stress related disease. However, the similarity between the retina and brain, is indicating that the functional and neuroprotective benefits found for lutein in the retina may extend to Our Brain.
Dietary Fundamentals - and Eye Health
Lutein + Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The evidence for the respective roles of NO and Lutein in visual function and performance is very strong. There is also much evidence to suggest a functional relationship between these two molecules, in which it appears that appropriate levels of each can lead to enhanced visual function.
Because Lutein is entirely of dietary origin, it could be the case that low dietary intake of foods that contain lutein could compromise the homeostatic symbiosis between NO and lutein described. It is clearly evident that
there is a
Homeostatic Symbiosis of dietary nutrients. Although found in a variety of colored fruits and vegetables, lutein is most richly concentrated (~5–10 mg/serving) in leafy-green
Vegetables such as kale or spinach (8).
This reference is an example of
Lost nutrients due to Hybridizing and applicable to modern grains.
Vitamins - and Eye Health
From what we know now, we can imply dietary guidelines for getting our lutein and zeaxanthin from spinach and kale, but this needs to be paired with an omega-3 source. This picture show a prefect serving of 6 oz of cooked spinach sautéed in 1 oz of grass fed butter with 3-4 oz portion of quick pan seer wild caught salmon.
Vitamin K's are fat soluble vitamins and should be eaten with fats and oils. These K's are not stored in your body. Greens provide K1 as does a healthy gut microbiome should provide K2. (e.g. fermented foods) This Site - Guts, your most important organ. Vitamin K has 3 forms, K1, K2, and K3, each has a metabolic function and works with Vitamin D is calcium control (K2) and blood clotting (K1).
Spinach and Kale are important sources of vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin K. Eating greens and keeping a healthy gut are important as your Gut Microbiome is also an important source of vitamin K through its own bacterial activity. Vitamin K: New Evidence for Cancer, Heart Health, and Bone Health | Ron Hunninghake, M.D. september/2011 (1) Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue | Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue. january/2013 (2)
Beware of Unhealthy Fats
When it comes to fat, it's really crucial to distinguish healthy from the unhealthy ones. The vast majority of fats people eat are actually very unhealthy. As a general rule, avoid all processed and bottled vegetable oils, which are typically high in damaged omega-6 fats.
Fat and Oil in modern diets, where did the Omega 3's go ... D. S. McGerk | contributor, may/16
Prior the WWI and WWII our farm animals were just as healthy as salmon ...
Anthropological evidence also suggests that the ratio human beings evolved eating is somewhere around 1:1, while the ratio today is about 16:1. According to Dr. Stephan Guyenet who has done a lot of research on non-industrial populations, typical Omega-6:Omega-3 ratios for non-industrial populations ranged from 4:1 to 1:4.
"... The use of ALA labeled with radioisotopes suggested that with a background diet high in saturated fat conversion to long-chain metabolites is approximately 6% for EPA and 3.8% for DHA. With a diet rich in n-6 PUFA, conversion is reduced by 40 to 50%. It is thus reasonable to observe an n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio not exceeding 4-6. Restricted conversion to DHA may be critical since evidence has been increasing that this long-chain metabolite has an autonomous function, e.g. in the brain, retina and spermatozoa where it is the most prominent fatty acid. In neonates deficiency is associated with visual impairment, abnormalities in the electroretinogram and delayed cognitive development. ..." (12,13,14)
Dr. Cate Shanahan provides a more complete chart of the fats and oils and how they should be used in our diet. Dr. Cate breaks down and list fats as
Ok, but Not Great, and
These are categorized and include a simply
Vitamins, Minerals - and Eye Health
Vitamins and Minerals are from your daily diet. We all know that Vitamin A is the
Eye Vitamin. But, vitamins like C, B's and minerals calcium C++, magnesium Mg++, Zinc,
and manganese Mn++ are critical for functioning of metabolic pathways. Calcium is stored in your bones and the body can use it for other metabolic functions.
Magnesium, and Manganese need to be gotten daily from your diet.
Water soluble vitamins such as C and B's, and need to be gotten from daily foods. Fat soluble like E are also needed daily.
Since the retina is highly concentrated in fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins are require adequate eye health, such as vitamin E intake. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for optimal eye health. DHA is found in high amounts in the retina, where it may help maintain eye function. It is also important for brain and eye development during infancy. For this reason, DHA deficiency can impair vision, especially in children.
For Example: One study in people with dry eyes showed that taking EPA and DHA supplements daily for three months significantly reduced dry eye symptoms by increasing the formation of tear fluid. (15) Omega-3 fatty acids may also help prevent other eye diseases. A study in middle-aged and elderly people with diabetes found that taking at least 500 mg of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids daily may reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy. (16)
Ok - Now What?
Our modern society created a Nutritional Disease; therefore, we need a Nutritional Solution. Eating too many of the wrong carbohydrates too often is what causes blood sugar and insulin levels to rise, placing us at high risk for insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s Disease (Type 3 Diabetes). Our bodies have evolved to handle whole food sources of carbohydrates like peppers, broccoli, onions, and tubers etc., but our bodies simply aren’t equipped to cope with modern refined carbohydrates like refined flour and sugar. Ref: The Premise for this Nutritional Solution.
But, doctors are not trained in nutrition, medicine as we know it is in trouble. We certainly can acquire the knowledge to ask better questions of our doctors of medicine.
The AMA has failed in their mission. Dr. Noakes gives a good talk on the problem ...
The Great Diet Controversy: UCT - Challenge Beliefs | Dr. Tim Noakes, november/2013
(30) and Dr. Mercola & Dr. Greger on How Not To Die | December/2015.
Dr. Mercola and Dr. Chutkan talk on
Food as Medicine - The Baby Connection and the importance of Gut Health ... referred to as
Complimentary or Alternative medicine ...
Dr. Mercola and Dr. Chutkan on Gut Health | February/2017. (32)
Dr. Chutkan has a 77% success rate of taking her patients
Simple solution, avoid carbohydrates as they offer no known nutritional benefits. Carbohydrates are however packaged in food source organisms that do provide Longevity Vitamins. We want and need Phytochemicals from our Diet, otherwise we suffer from malnutrition. The symptoms of malnutrition is what this site is all about.
Our foods provide Phytonutrients, macronutrients, micronutrients (for critical DNA repair) (R1), Polyphenols, Phytosterols, Flavonoids, Lignans, Antioxidants, and Carotenoids, that do allow life to continue. Ref: 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols. (Resource 1,2,3)
Certainly avoid processed carbohydrates, fats and oils, and packaged and processed foods. A direct result of too many carbohydrates is Insulin Resistance functional manifested as Carbohydrate Intolerance. Dr. Volek discusses his current views on the benefits of a LCHF plan - Health-Promoting Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle | july/2016 and this site follows this type of plan with the addition of Dr. Ames' "Triage Theory" ... the Centenarian Diet.
What path are You On?
- Lutein and zeaxanthin appear to have important antioxidant functions in the body. Along with other natural antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E, these important pigments guard the body from damaging effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can destroy cells and play a role in many diseases.
- There currently is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for lutein or zeaxanthin, but some experts say you should ingest at least 6 milligrams (mg) of lutein per day for beneficial effects.(2)
- Oral supplementation with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation (antioxidant vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc) has been shown to reduce the risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Observational data suggest that increased dietary intake of lutein + zeaxanthin (carotenoids), omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] + eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), or both might further reduce this risk. (2)
- Endothelial NOS (eNOS), also known as nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3) is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the NOS3 gene. eNOS is primarily responsible for the generation of NO in the Vascular Endothelium - a 1 kg multifunctional paracrine and endocrine organ, a monolayer of flat cells lining the interior surface of blood vessels, at the interface between circulating blood in the lumen and the remainder of the vessel wall. (20,21,22)
- Evidence is now emerging that NO is a mediator of physiological, and possibly pathological, processes in the retina. The finding that NO modulates voltage-gated ion channels in rod photoreceptors suggests that NO may be involved in photoreceptor light transduction and photoreceptor synaptic output [Kurenny et al., 1994].