Just Ask Terry

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I was just told by my eye doctor that I am in the beginning to moderate stage of developing cataracts.

Q. Dear Terry, “I was just told by my eye doctor that I am in the beginning to moderate stage of developing cataracts. What can I do to help my condition?” — Sara B., Amarillo, TX

A. Dear Sara, Cataracts are often attributed to aging but can also develop from trauma, excessive exposure to sunlight or something you are born with. Some of the major risk factors include being a diabetic, smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol and direct sunlight exposure to the eyes.

I would first try to control any of those risk factors that may be a part of your lifestyle.

Nutrients can also make a big difference in our vision. One of the strongest protectors of healthy vision is black currant. Black currant is rich in anthocyanins, which are the dark pigments that also serve as very potent antioxidants. One of the reasons black currant is so valuable in preserving healthy vision is the anthocyanins from the berry pass through the blood-retinal and blood-aqueous barriers intact. That means the compounds can be transported and absorbed right where they are needed, in the eye. These compounds help protect your cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and stop oxidative stress. All of these can play a contributing role in the progression of cataracts.

Another ingredient I love for eye health is grape seed extract. Research has shown that the grape seed contains proanthocyanidins, which are also super antioxidants, and are 20-50 times stronger than Vitamin E and C, respectively. Grape seed extract has been shown to protect human lens epithelial cells from free radical damage by reducing certain inflammatory markers. A reduction in those markers could help prevent the advancement of cataracts. I recommend a combination of 150 mg of black currant and grape seed extract three times per day. For additional support, you could also take grape seed extract by itself, 400 mg twice per day.

It’s hard to talk about eye health without mentioning lutein and zeaxanthin. These are the primary carotenoids (richly colored yellow and orange pigments, like beta-carotene) present in the eye. They have a special protective role for the retina and macula. I would take 10 mg of lutein and 500 mcg of zeaxanthin three times per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally


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