Natural Interventions to Keep Your Eyesight Sharp as You Age!

Heather Suhr
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One of the signs of aging is losing optimal eyesight. Cataracts are the clouding of vision and are very common in older people. For some people, it’s a gradual decrease, while for others it may progress a lot faster. In fact, by the age of 80 years old, more than half of Americans either have cataracts or have had cataract surgery. (1)

Aging is a part of life, but it can be gentler if we take good care of ourselves. There are certain things we can modify to help vision remain as close to peak levels as possible. Food is certainly a factor, however, there are specific natural interventions that studies have shown to be effective for cataracts. (2)

Avoid satin drugs

Statin drugs have been shown to cause progressive clouding over the lens of the eye and cause blindness. (2,3) Other studies show that when statin drugs are taken alone or in combination with other drugs they can prevent the body from metabolizing efficiently and increase the risk of cataracts. (4,5)

One of the reasons why statin drugs can increase the risk of cataracts is because of their ability to distribute throughout the body, even passing through the blood-brain-barrier and entering into the eye and causing lens damage. (2)

Take turmeric extract

Curcumin, found in turmeric, contains a high amount of therapeutic polyphenol and is the reason for its golden color.  Turns out that curcumin is able to protect against cataracts forming. (2) One study shows that curcumin had the potential to function as an anticataractogenic agent, which could possibly prevent the accumulation of calcium in the eye lens. (6) Another study showed the antioxidant effects of curcumin that appears to prevent oxidative damage and delay cataracts. (7)

Eat kale, egg yolks, marigold, and wheatgrass

One 2-year double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study showed that eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in lutein improves vision. These foods can include any dark leafy greens, coriander, hot chile, egg yolks, marigold, and many more. (2,8,9)

In another study, wheatgrass may actually reverse cataracts! The authors state, “Results showed a reduction from 25 to 40% of lens opacity. The efficacy of wheat sprouts in the recovery of age-related alterations and in treating age-associated pathologies could be due to the contemporary presence of small regulatory acid peptides, a remarkable level of highly energetic phosphoric radicals and antioxidant molecules, peculiarities that may be, to some extent, related to the aging process regulation.” (2,10)

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.nei.nih.gov
(2) www.greenmedinfo.com
(3) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(4) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(5) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(6) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(7) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(8) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(9) nutritiondata.self.com
(10) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

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