What You Must Know About Food and Supplements for Optimal Vision Care: Ocular Nutrition Handbook

What You Must Know About Food and Supplements for Optimal Vision Care: Ocular Nutrition Handbook

by Jeffrey Anshel OD


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As children, we were told to eat our carrots if we wanted good eyesight. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A—a necessary nutrient for optimal vision. For most of us, that’s were our knowledge of vitamins and eye health stops. Over the last twenty years, many studies have demonstrated that certain foods and natural supplements can play a major role in the treatment of eye problems. From the best-selling author of Smart Medicine for Your Eyes comes a new, concise guide to these powerful substances.

What You Must Know About Food and Supplements for Optimal Vision Care is divided into three parts. Part One is an overview of nutritional principles. This section explores the function of nutrients that benefit not only the visual system but also the entire body. Part Two provides a list of common eye disorders and includes a brief discussion of each condition, supplying handy charts that detail the nutritional, herbal, and homeopathic treatments that may be used to alleviate each disorder. Part Three offers further guidance by presenting dietary approaches to eye health and providing important information on the interaction of various foods and medications.

There is so much you can do to support eye health through good food and wisely chosen supplements. In this helpful and easy-to-use resource, Dr. Anshel provides you with a wealth of information on the most effective natural products and foods available to promote optimal vision.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757004100
Publisher: Square One Publishers
Publication date: 07/06/2015
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Anshel, OD received his Bachelor of Science in Visual Science and his Doctorate of Optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry. While in the US Navy, he established the Navy’s first vision therapy center located in San Diego, California. Upon his return to civilian life, Dr. Anshel went into private practice, offering his patients alternative therapies as part of their vision care. Today, in addition to his practice, Dr. Anshel is president of Corporate Vision Consulting and is the founder and president of the Ocular Nutrition Society. He is also the best-selling author of Smart Medicine for Your Eyes.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Preface vi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Nutrition and Vision

Introduction 5

Digestion, Absorption, and Metabolism 6

Macronutrients 8

Micronutrients-Vitamins 16

Micronutrients-Minerals 33

Other Helpful Substances 43

Eye Structures and Supportive Nutrients 53

Using Caution 54

Part 2 Eye Problems

Introduction 55

Accommodative Insufficiency 56

Arcus Senilis 57

Blepharitis 58

Blepharospasm 60

Cataract 62

Central Serous Retinopathy 66

Chalazion 67

Computer Vision Syndrome 69

Conjunctivitis 71

Corneal Abrasion 74

Corneal Ulcer 76

Diabetic Retinopathy 77

Dry Eye Syndrome 80

Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis 84

Glaucoma 85

Grave's Disease 88

Headache 91

Hypertensive Retinopathy 94

Iritis 97

Macular Degeneration 99

Multiple Sclerosis 102

Myopia 104

Nyctalopia 106

Optic Neuritis 107

Pinguecula 111

Pterygium 111

Recurrent Corneal Erosion 113

Retinitis Pigmentosa 114

Stye 116

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage 117

Part 3 Nutritional Approaches

Introduction 121

Diet 122

Herbal Therapy 132

Homeopathy 147

Drug-Nutrient Interaction 155

Nutrient-Nutrient Interaction 159

Nutrient Depletion 161

The Need for Supplements 164

RDA Vs Optimal Health 165

How to Choose Supplements 166

Conclusion 167

Index 169


Eyecare professionals are committed to giving each patient a lifetimeof seeing clearly and comfortably with healthy eyes. They draw upontheir educations and years of experience to assist in the remediationof eye health and the treatment of vision disorders. I have hadthe fortune of exploring several modalities of healthcare, ranging fromEastern philosophies to ancient European concepts. What I have learnedis that there may be more than one truth when it comes to healingthe body.There has been a recent increase in teachings commonly known asfunctional or integrative medicine. Integrative medicine, as defined byUS National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine(NCCAM), combines conventional medical treatments and alternativetreatments for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safetyand effectiveness. It is a concept that is now getting the attention ofmany academic health centers. It is important to note that integrativemedicine is not synonymous with complementary and alternative medicine(CAM). It has a far larger meaning and mission, in that it calls for areturn to health and healing as the focus of medicine and emphasizes thecentrality of the patient-physician relationship.

In addition to providing the best conventional care, integrative medicinefocuses on preventative maintenance of health by paying attentionto all relative components of lifestyle, including diet, exercise, stress management,and emotional well-being. It insists on patients being active participantsin healthcare, as well as on physicians viewing patients as wholepersons—minds, community members, and spiritual beings—not just asphysical bodies. It is a philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicinenor accepts alternative therapies uncritically, and one that uses natural,effective, and less invasive interventions whenever possible. Finally,it asks physicians to serve as guides, role models, and mentors, and notonly as dispensers of therapeutic aids.Integrative optometry follows many of these same principles. The eyemaintains inherent healing abilities. For example, lysozyme in tears is anatural antibiotic. If a doctor balances the tear film through proper nutritionand flushes the eye with lubricating drops, tears themselves can fightpotential infection. Research is finding that many eye conditions are actuallyextensions of general nutritional status, so it follows that generalnutrition may improve eye conditions. Studies on nutrients and combinationsof nutrients and their possible roles in eye health are ongoing.You’ll often hear that vitamins and minerals are not regulated. Thereare, however, regulations concerning dietary supplements, and they areenforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Dietary SupplementHealth and Education Act (DSHEA) was enacted in 1994 anddefines a dietary supplement as “a product taken by mouth that containsa dietary ingredient that may include vitamins, minerals, herbs or otherbotanicals, amino acids and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues,glandular and metabolites.” These products must have a disclaimer thatsays, “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and DrugAdministration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent ortreat any disease.” This means that these products are considered similarto foods, not drugs. It is clear that nutrients can heal the body and alleviateillness (e.g., vitamin C for scurvy, vitamin D for rickets), but it is stillthe responsibility of supplement companies to manufacture their productsaccording to cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices) standards andto use GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredients. These conceptsare mandated by the FDA.FDA regulations dictate that food and dietary supplements do notneed “pre-market approval,” which is mandatory for drugs. Drugs, however,do not need “pre-market notification,” contrary to both food anddietary supplements, which do. A pre-market submission made to theFDA must demonstrate that the device (or nutrient, in this case) to be marketedis at least as safe and effective—that is, substantially equivalent—]as a legally marketed nutrient not subject to pre-market approval. Dietarysupplements and drugs maintain the same requirements in the areas oflabeling, GMP facility registration, and advertising. Food does not requiremandatory adverse event reporting, while dietary supplements and drugsdo. Since these are federal regulations, all states abide by these protocols,and the advertising issues surrounding promotion of nutrients and theirbenefits fall under the auspices of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

This handbook is divided into three parts. Part one is an overview ofnutritional basics. It is meant to be used as a reference guide to the variousnutrients and the ways in which they support not only the visual systembut also the entire body. Part two is a listing of the common eyedisorders encountered on a daily basis by practitioners. Within this listing,a brief discussion of each condition and the nutritional aspects of itstreatment are offered. The charts within each section offer a number ofnutritional, herbal, and homeopathic therapies that may have an influenceon each disorder. Not every nutrient is required to be taken, but you willbe able to see which nutrients support which ocular structures and learnthe recommended dosage of each substance. Part three is a review of thenutritional approaches commonly recommended to maintain optimalhealth, including diet types, food choices, and homeopathic formulas.

The purpose of this book is to offer a quick and easy reference guideto use when considering integrative therapy. It is not meant to encourageyou to bypass traditional Western medicine but rather to show you howto integrate other therapies with those treatments whenever appropriate.If possible, work with a doctor that maintains a referral network of nutritionalprofessionals such as nutritionists, dietitians, chiropractors, andnaturopaths. Eyecare providers should work together with these professionals—and keep the lines of communication open—for the commongood of the patient. Nutritional supplements do not cure illnesses on theirown, but may enhance the body’s ability to fight disease. Even with medicalintervention, a well-nourished body heals faster than one that is nutritionallydeficient.Nutritional supplementation is just that: a supplement to a wellnessprogram. It is not a replacement for a good diet. Nutritional therapies providecellular support, encouraging organs to rebalance and heal themselves.As the adage goes, “Nature heals the body but the doctor collectsthe fee.”

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