Try the kitchen experiment to protect your vision

It’s been said that “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”

But wherever you are, good eyes are a priceless possession. Today, tens of thousands of North Americans are struggling to read fine print, worrying about driving at night, or suffering from dry eyes or eye fatigue. Now, there’s a natural remedy ‘Vision Essentials’ to help prevent these degenerative problems of aging.

Growing older is inevitable, but many of the adverse effects of aging are preventable. Dr. Denham Harman, at the University of Nebraska, College of Medicine, believes that free radicals are responsible for aging. Free radicals are formed when oxygen is burned in our cells for energy.

To understand the importance of free radicals, Dr. Julian Whitaker, one of the early pioneers of natural remedies, suggests this kitchen experiment. Cut an apple in half, crush a Vitamin C tablet and spread the powder on the cut side of one half. Twenty minutes later, the side protected by Vitamin C will remain white and fresh.

The unprotected side will turn dark brown due to the oxidation process and production of free radicals.

We would die without burning oxygen for energy. But this oxidative process has the same effect on eyes as it has on the unprotected sliced apple. To help counteract this browning effect on ocular tissues, we need ample amounts of antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and other nutrients.

Lutein is one of the prime antioxidants essential for visual acuity and for helping the eye to recover from nighttime glare. Zeaxanthin, another major antioxidant, helps to maintain the health of the retina, the back part the eye that sends pictures to the brain. It also helps to improve vision by filtering out damaging light. Studies show that most people do not consume enough antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables to protect their eyes, particularly central vision.

“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” was the famous command given British soldiers. But if these soldiers had lost their central vision (age-related macular degeneration) they wouldn’t have been able to fire a single shot.

The macula is a tiny spot in the retina responsible for central vision. Stare someone in the eye at a distance of 20 feet and you’re looking at the macula. Without a healthy macula it’s impossible to read or watch TV. Today, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness for those over 50 years of age and affects seven million North Americans.

Dr. John Landrum, at Florida International University, Miami, is a world authority on macular antioxidants. He studied the concentration of antioxidants in the eyes of those with and without macular disease. This revealed that people with the highest intake of antioxidants had 43% less risk of macular disease.

To have healthy eyes you need antioxidants and good circulation. Dr. Sydney Bush, a renowned British researcher, showed several years ago that Vitamin C could reverse hardening of retinal arteries and improve blood supply to all parts of the eye. This was a huge discovery that has largely gone unnoticed. His studies also show that high doses of Vitamin C can have a beneficial effect on the macula.

It’s possible to take a number of individual vitamins and minerals to protect aging eyes. But the easiest and most efficient way to ensure good vision later in life has been developed by Dr. Julian Whitaker. His experience in natural medicine has resulted in a formulation called ‘Vision Essentials’ available at health food stores.

Vision Essentials contains 19 of the best antioxidant vitamins and minerals known to help aging eyes. They include lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene to promote the general health of the retina, lens, macula and optic nerve. There’s also Vitamins C and A, zinc, copper, alpha lipoic acid, taurine, N-acetyl cysteine, glycine and carrot powder. And to sharpen night vision there’s bilberry, closely related to blueberries.

Just as apples turn brown without antioxidants, so the eyes age without them. Try the kitchen experiment.

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