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Super Vision

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Super Vision

All of our senses are essential for experiencing our physical reality. Vision, however, is perhaps the most precious sense of all, allowing us to see and navigate the world around us.

All of our senses are essential for experiencing our physical reality. Vision, however, is perhaps the most precious sense of all, allowing us to see and navigate the world around us.

As we age, our eyes become increasingly vulnerable to a myriad of vision-robbing conditions. Although degenerative changes often begin in the middle years, by age 70 a majority of seniors suffer from a variety of eye problems including cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

The good news is that degenerative eye disease is not inevitable. Research has revealed that less than optimum levels of antioxidants contribute to free-radical damage, a significant factor in all forms of age-related eye problems.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, stated in the Journal of the Association of American Physicians that oxidative damage may play an important role in cataract and age-related macular degeneration, the two most significant causes of visual impairment in older adults.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Antioxidants are important combatants in the fight against oxidative damage. Two important antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, are members of the carotenoid family, the brightly coloured pigments that occur naturally in a variety of foods. They have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts by 20 percent and macular degeneration by up to 40 percent.

Vitamin C

It has also been known for some time that the lens of the eye concentrates vitamin C at a rate that is 60 times greater than concentrations in the blood. Because the lens does not have any direct blood supply, maintaining these concentrations may be achieved by supplementing with vitamin C.

Carnosine

In the journal Biochemistry (July 2000), researchers at the Harbin Medical University in China concluded that carnosine seems to delay the impairment of eyesight with aging, effectively preventing and treating senile cataract and other age-related diseases.

Carnosine works by competing with proteins for the binding sites the proteins would occupy on sugar molecules. This process creates a form of glycated (damaged) proteins, which produce 50 times more free radicals than nonglycated proteins. Carnosine is recognized as the best glycation preventive currently available.

As you can see, we can take a major role in protecting our vision. See well into your future by eating a diet rich in antioxidants and supplementing with antioxidant and antiglycation nutrients.

Eye Conditions

Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes more opaque or cloudy, leading to impaired vision.

  • affects 80 percent of people 75 years of age and older

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the macula, central and most vital area of the retina, deteriorates, affecting central vision.

  • leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 50

Glaucoma is caused by an increase in pressure in the eyes that damages the optic nerve.

  • affects one in 100 Canadians over age 40

Diabetic retinopathy stems from damage of the retinal blood vessels caused by high blood sugar.

  • the most common cause of blindness in people under age 65

Other Antioxidant Eye Helpers

Research is accumulating about other antioxidants that may also play a major role in eye health.

  • glutathione
  • vitamin B2
  • N-acetyl-cysteine
  • vitamin E
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • alpha-lipoic acid
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • beta carotene
  • bilberry
  • vitamin A
  • selenium
  • zinc

Food Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

FOOD LUTEIN ZEAXANTHIN
eggsXX
cornXX
orange peppersX
kiwisXX
grapesXX
spinachXX
orange juiceXX
zucchiniXX
squashXX
dark leafy vegetableX
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