By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
September 7, 2018
- Can your eye health predict Alzheimer’s?
- Eat to protect your vision… and your memories
- Supplements for your eyesight and brainpower
The thought of losing your vision is a scary idea. Still, I find that many of my patients don’t actively start taking care of their eyes until they start experiencing problems.
By that time it is often too late resolve many of the most common eye disorders associated with aging. This is particularly true when it comes to the three that are most devastating.
These diseases alone are pretty frightening. But what I’m going to share with you next is absolutely terrifying. People with these vision-destroying conditions have a 45 to 50 percent greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to people without them! I’m talking about macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
The connection between eye disease and Alzheimer’s isn’t a stretch, by any means. You see, the retina is actually an extension of the brain and central nervous system. At the same time conditions such as AMD, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are, in part, considered to be neurodegenerative.
With this in mind, it is suspected that retinal neuron damage associated with these eye disorders triggers the spread of disease to structures of the brain. And the reverse can happen, too – where degeneration of the brain moves into the retina.
This means that if you want to dodge Alzheimer’s it’s important to not only control what happens in your brain, but also what happens to your eyes.
A thorough opthalmalogic examination can pick up the earliest signs of amyloid plaquing in the retinal vasculature and structural components.(***, ****) It “provides an opportunity to use a minimally invasive approach to examine the pathological features in the brain – through the transparent medium of the eye.”(*****)
Eat to Protect Your Vision… and Your Memories
There is one dietary pattern that has been shown over and over again to protect your vision. It also works exceedingly well to keep your brain sharp and preserve your memories.
I’m talking about a Mediterranean style diet.
- Eating like a Mediterranean can cut your risk of AMD by more than a third. The abundance of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that come with his way of eating are one part of the reason it’s so protective for your eyes. They’re loaded with vitamins A, C and E, along with protective carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.
- A Mediterranean style diet rich in nuts and extra virgin olive oil reduces the relative risk of diabetic retinopathy by a significant 43%. It is also one of the best diets for glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors associated with diabetes.
- People who eat more fruits, vegetables (especially dark leafy greens) and omega-3 rich fish, which are all part of the Mediterranean dietary pattern, have lower chances of developing glaucoma. Some evidence even suggests that olive oil can reduce the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma.
- Here’s the best news of all. Those who stick most closely with the Mediterranean way of eating have brains that appear to be about five years younger than they really are. Just think about that for a minute. You can actually shave five years off of your brain’s age!
- Additionally, those who eat like a Mediterranean have significantly fewer beta-amyloid deposits than those who eat standard American fare. In fact, this way of eating could reduce your chances of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s by about 33%.
Taken all together, this makes a Mediterranean style diet a perfect way to protect your precious vision and memories
Supplements for Your Eyesight and Brainpower
There are also a few eye-supporting supplements you can take, just to be on the safe side.
I recommend a top-quality eye formula that contains lutein and zeaxanthin as the lead ingredients. These nutrients aren’t just good for the eyes. As it turns out, patients with Alzheimer’s disease are shown to be deficient in these two carotenoids. But people who supplement with them are able to boost their cognitive abilities.
You also want to make sure the formula includes other eye and brain-supporting nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E.
Remember, your eyes are your key to independence. They may even be the keeper of your memories. Start safeguarding them now so that you can maintain your freedom, mental acuity and daily activities for years to come.
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*** Transl Psychiatry. 2013 Feb; 3(2): e233. Retinal vascular biomarkers for early detection and monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease. S Frost,1,2,3 Y Kanagasingam,1,2 H Sohrabi,4 J Vignarajan,1,2 P Bourgeat,1,5 O Salvado,1,5 V Villemagne,5,6,7C C Rowe,6 S Lance Macaulay,8 C Szoeke,8,9 K A Ellis,7,9,10 D Ames,9,10 C L Masters,7 S Rainey-Smith,4R N Martins,4,*
****Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy 2017 9:13. Retinal vascular and structural changes are associated with amyloid burden in the elderly; opthalmic biomarkers of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.
- Mojtaba Golzan author,
- Kathryn Goozee,
- Dana Georgevsky,
- Alberto Avolio,
- Pratishtha Chatterjee,
- Kaikai Shen,
- Vivek Gupta,
- Roger Chung,
- Greg Savage,
- Carolyn F. Orr,
- Ralph N. Martinsand
- Stuart L. Graham
*****Front Neurol. 2016; 7: 55. Visual and Ocular Manifestations of Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Use as Biomarkers for Diagnosis and Progression. Fatimah Zara Javaid,1 Jonathan Brenton,1 Li Guo,1 and Maria F. Cordeiro1,2,