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Eyes

Can rosemary help protect your eyesight?

Can rosemary help protect your eyesight?

Researchers have found that a compound found in the herb rosemary can help to keep optimum vision and protect against age related macular degeneration. So read on to find out how this marvellous herb can help to protect your eyesight. The study was published the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, and was led by Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D. and colleagues at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham). They specifically looked at carnosic acid, which is a component of rosemary. The team found that carnosic acid protects retinas from degeneration and toxicity in cell culture. These findings indicate that carnosic acid may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the outer retina and age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration is a condition which is characterised by wear and tear to the macula region of the eye, which is located on the retina. The macula area of the eye allows us to see fine detail and gives us colour vision. The wear and tear here leads to visual impairment and loss of central vision. There are many potential causes of this condition and many previous studies have found that age-related macular degeneration might be halted or improved by antioxidants. Antioxidants work by neutralising the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals can be formed by factors such as exposure to radiation (including over exposure to the sun’s rays), cigarette smoke, air pollution, exercise, processed foods, household cleaners and stress. The body also produces free radicals through various metabolic processes such as the breakdown of stored fat for use as an energy source. The team of researchers had earlier discovered that carnosic acid can protect against brain inflammation. Lipton indicated that more developments are in the pipeline, “We’re now developing improved derivatives of carnosic acid and related compounds to protect the retina and other brain areas from a number of degenerative conditions, including age-related macular degeneration and various forms of...

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How eating right can improve your vision

We have all been told that eating carrots can improve your vision, but is this more than a myth? There seems to be a clear link to nutrition and eye health. Nutritional experts and scientists are looking at how nutrition can improve eye health and prevent diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. There are currently no treatments for age-related macular degeneration, so Professor Ian Grierson, head of ophthalmology at the University of Liverpool, decided to investigate looked at ways to prevent this disease instead. Macular degeneration has been linked with free radical damage, which can be neutralised by consuming more antioxidants in the diet. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for giving us colour and fine vision. Free radicals, from the environment, diet, smoking, stress or medications can damage these cells and eventually lead to loss of vision. The good news is that we can help to prevent this disease with healthy eating or by adding a few supplements if necessary. Prof Grierson says, “Adding a little more fruit and vegetables to your meals could dramatically reduce eye disease in future.” Nutrients for Healthy Eyes: Beta – Carotene The vegetable sources of vitamin A are known as carotenes. Natural sources of carotene are carrots, spinach, sweet peppers, dark green leafy vegetables and sweet potatoes.  The carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to protect the macular from free radical damage. Vitamin E This is a fat soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant. As Vitamin E is fat soluble, it helps protects the eyes from UV (ultra violet) damage. Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, soya and olive oil. Vitamin C Vitamin C is a water soluble antioxidant that is very important for maintaining and promoting the growth of healthy collagen. This vitamin in found in many fruits and vegetables. Good sources are blackcurrants, citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, watercress, peppers and papaya. Zinc Zinc is a very important mineral and antioxidant for maintaining good vision. This mineral is also very important for maintaining levels of Vitamin E in the body and helping the body to absorb Vitamin A. Natural sources of Zinc include almonds, peanuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds, corn and mung beans....

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Health Benefits of Vitamin A

There are many health benefits of vitamin A. It is an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy eyes. This vitamin is fat-soluble and is stored in the liver. Vitamin A is also known as retinol, as it essential to the health of the retina. This vitamin helps us maintain vision, especially night vision. It helps our eyes to adjust when coming in from outside. Vitamin A helps the eye from adjusting from bright light to darkness. Vitamin A is not just important for the eye health. It is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and healthy skin.  Vitamin A is also vital for the reproductive system, and for healthy growth and development. Vitamin A helps to prevent infections, sore throats, colds and flu. It is therefore a good vitamin to take throughout the winter months. Vitamin A helps to promote the supply of immune cells that line the airways and the digestive tract. This vitamin has strong antioxidant action. It can help to prevent the cells from diseases such as cancer, diabetes and arthritis.  Vitamin A can also prevent heart disease and stroke, and help lower cholesterol levels. The vitamin has benefited people who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy for cancer treatment. This essential vitamin has the added benefit of slowing the ageing process. Vitamin A is added to many skin creams to reduce wrinkles and to help fade age spots. It is also used to treat acne. Food sources Vitamin A is obtained from animal livers, fish, egg yolks, butter and milk. Beta-carotene, which the body makes into vitamin A in the body, is available in many fruits and vegetables. Good sources of beta-carotene are Broccoli Carrots Garlic Peaches Pumpkins Red Peppers Spinach Papayas Dose The recommended dosage of vitamin A varies, depending on what you read. A general guideline is 800mcg a day. This vitamin should be taken with or after food. The absorption of vitamin A is increased if taken with vitamin E, vitamin D or zinc.  If you do start to take a vitamin A supplement, be aware that many foods also contain this vitamin, so higher doses are not always required. Cautions Vitamin A consumption should be monitored closely in pregnancy. You should not...

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General Nutrition for Eyes

Good nutrition is important for both your general and eye health. As well as this, eye supplements can help you get optimum levels of valuable nutrients, which are often lacking in our diet. These are required for general eye health and for healthy vision. Dry eye is a very common condition mainly due to increased use of computers and video games, air conditioning and increased contact lens wear. Simple blinking exercises can be of great benefit. From a nutrition point of view, essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 and omega-6, can reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome. Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are rich in omega-3. Omega-6 is found in corn oil, sunflower oil and canola oil. Two eye conditions which are becoming more common are cataracts and age related macula degeneration (ARMD). ARMD is a condition where there is wear and tear to the macula region of the eye, which is located on the retina. The macula area of the eye allows us to see fine detail and gives us colour vision therefore wear and tear here leads to visual impairment and loss of central vision. Cataracts, is a condition where the naturally clear lens in the eye becomes cloudy, again causing visual impairment, reduced night vision and glare in bright light. Exposure to, UV light, age, smoking and poor diet are all risk factors of ARMD and cataracts. Although age is the biggest risk factor for both, a good balanced diet can help prevent or slow down progression. Two antioxidants, known as carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in their highest concentration in the macula region and their role is to protect the cells and tissues from the damaging effects of blue UV light. The vitamins A, C and E also help to maintain healthy cells and tissues in the eye. These carotenoids and vitamins can be found in oranges, tomatoes, peppers, raw carrots, green leafy vegetables including kale and spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, dried apricots and blueberries. Nuts, seeds and dairy products and eggs are also good sources of vitamins A, C and E. Dietary supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin can be taken, though you must consult your GP first, if you are taking any prescription medication. A balanced...

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