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How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/how-to-get-rid-bags-under-eyes.aspx

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Under eye bags may be reduced by moisturizing your face, sleeping on your back, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, adding an extra pillow below your head when sleeping, avoiding rubbing your eyes and treating your allergies
  • Diet changes such as drinking enough water, avoiding salty food, reducing alcohol intake and consuming vitamin C- and retinol-rich foods may also help get rid of bags under eyes
  • Easy home remedies that may help include applying cucumber, avocado, cold compress, egg whites, potato, tomato, lemon juice or caffeinated tea over the affected areas

Periorbital hyperchromia, or dark circles under the eyes, is a common dermatological condition that can affect a person’s self-confidence because it makes them appear tired.[1 It’s a normal thing to happen, though, since this is a physical change that takes effect when you age.2

Also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation, periorbital melanosis and dark circles, under-eye bags may appear as the lower eyelid’s bluish discoloration (vascular type) or brownish to black hyperpigmentation (constitutional type).3 The eyelid skin is the thinnest of all body parts, particularly the lower medial eyelid, which has the lowest dermal to epidermal ratio.4 This is where fat accumulates through time, resulting in the development of bags under the eyes.5

What Causes Bags Under Your Eyes?

Bags under your eyes aren’t always caused by getting too little sleep at night, contrary to what many people believe. They can be caused by factors that differ from one person to another. According to a 2007 study:6

“DC (dark circles) are caused by multiple etiologic factors that include dermal melanin deposition, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to atopic or allergic contact dermatitis, periorbital edema, superficial location of vasculature and shadowing due to skin laxity.”

Puffiness and bags under the eyes that appear in the morning may be caused by your sleeping position. Sleeping only on one side places pressure on the blood vessels under your eyes. The pool of blood that accumulates in this area makes the skin appear darker.7 According to Medical News Today, buildup of excess fluid and weakened muscles may cause dark bags under the eyes as well.8

Stress may also contribute to the appearance of dark circles. In Chinese medicine, having puffy eyes can be a symptom of water or kidney imbalance, while dark bags under the eyes may imply allergies.9

Is It Safe to Use Under-Eye Bags Cream?

According to a Reader’s Digest article, most eye creams in the market are a waste of money because they basically contain the same ingredients as facial moisturizers. They’re usually water-based to ensure that the skin would be hydrated.10

If you intend to use an eye cream, choose products that contain organic ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, acai oil, green tea leaf extract and chamomile flower extract to help moisturize your skin and to ensure safety from harmful chemicals. For more convenient and easy-to-follow methods, I have provided a list of remedies below.

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How to Get Rid of Bags Under the Eyes

Conventional treatments for under-eye bags include topical medications, surgery, chemical peels and laser treatments.11 However, I advise you to turn to safer and more convenient noninvasive methods to help diminish the bags under your eyes.

Although it is considered more of a cosmetic concern than a medical one,12 you can improve your appearance by getting rid of the bags under your eyes through these methods.

5 Topical Remedies for Under-Eye Bags

Moisturize — Wrinkles and bags under the eyes become more visible when your skin is dry.13 Keep your skin well-moisturized, especially around the eyes, by using all-natural moisturizers such as pure emu oil and pure coconut oil.

Use Brazilian ginseng — A 2009 study found that topically applying a serum sample containing Brazilian ginseng twice a day may help reduce the intensity of dark circles around the eyes.14

Opt for eye creams with coffee extracts — A 2013 study found that caffeine has antioxidant properties that may work as a sunscreen. These polyphenol compounds protect the skin from UVB radiation, which may help prevent rapid skin aging.15

A 2018 study also found that skin care products with caffeine may help reduce under-eye bags caused by dilatation of blood vessels.16

Use a safe sunscreen and wear sunglasses — Though sun exposure is vital in achieving optimal health, you must consider factors such as weather conditions, season and time of the day when you stay under the sun to avoid photodamage and the appearance of wrinkles.

According to a 2013 study, using a broad spectrum sunscreen and wearing UV-coated sunglasses may help reduce bags under the eyes.17 However, in choosing a sunscreen, make sure that it doesn’t contain oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances or retinyl palmitate; your safest choice is a lotion or cream with zinc oxide. You may also wear a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to protect your face and eyes.

Gently remove your makeup — Excessively scrubbing your face may break your blood vessels, which may worsen the bags under your eyes.18 Avoid this by gently swiping some mild makeup remover over your eyes (coconut oil is a good option) and leaving it on your face for a minute before washing it off.

5 Diet Changes May Help Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes

Drink enough water — Staying hydrated will help restore your skin’s moisture and may help eliminate toxins from it.

Avoid salty food — Sodium contributes to fluid retention,19 which causes bags under eyes. Cutting down on your salt intake at night is one way to reduce bags under eyes and puffiness in the morning.20

Add retinol-rich food to your diet — Retinol or vitamin A helps prevent further thinning of the skin.21 Nourish the skin under your eyes by adding food rich in retinol such as grass fed beef liver, cheddar cheese, pasture-raised chicken giblets, turkey liver, grass fed butter and organic, pastured eggs to your diet.

Reduce or avoid alcohol intake — Alcohol is one of the fluids that can dehydrate your body, including the skin under the eyes. This thin area may likely sink and form a bag.22 If you do imbibe in alcohol, be sure to balance it with at least 8 cups of water throughout the day.

Consume vitamin C-rich food — A 2009 study found that vitamin C from sodium ascorbate lotion may help thicken the skin of the lower eyelids. The results showed that dark coloration is significantly diminished when the dermis has thickened.23

Reduce the appearance of bags under your eyes by adding foods rich in vitamin C such mangopapaya, pineapple, watermelon, broccoli, tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, strawberries and winter squash to your diet.24

6 Lifestyle Changes That May Help Eliminate Under-Eye Bags

If you want to know how to get rid of bags under eyes fast, here are additional lifestyle changes you should follow today:

Sleep on your back — Sleeping on one side or on your belly contributes to the buildup of blood and fluid to the face. Try to sleep on your back to avoid morning face puffiness due to fluid accumulation.25

Add an extra pillow below your head — Elevate your head when you sleep to avoid fluid buildup around your eyes.26

Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke — Besides chemical irritation, smoking may cause skin damage and rapid aging, especially around the mouth and eyes. Preventing exposure to tobacco smoke is one of the ways you can avoid or remove bags under eyes.27

Get enough sleep — One of WebMD’s recommended ways on getting rid of under-eye bags is ensuring you get high-quality sleep at night. To help prevent your skin from sagging, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep to give your skin more time to produce collagen.28

Deal with your allergies — According to a Sage Journals study, dark bags under the eyes may be caused by nasal allergies in children. The authors note:

“Prolonged and persistent allergic edema of the mucous membranes of the nasal cavities produces pressure effects on the veins, interfering with their normal drainage. Thus the discoloration under the eyes develops from obstruction and slowing of the normal drainage of the lower venous marginal arcades and palpebral veins.”

Commonly known as allergic shiners,29 these may be mitigated by using natural antihistamines such as butterbur, vitamin C and green tea.

Avoid rubbing your eyes — Frequent rubbing of the eyes may aggravate the appearance of dark circles, according to a study published in 2014.30 Doing this may break the blood vessels in your eyelids and create a blood buildup that causes the discoloration of the lower eyelids.31

Eliminate Bags Under Your Eyes With These 8 Home Remedies

If you’re looking for an easy home remedy for the bags under your eyes, here are different things that you may use at home:

Cucumber — Cucumber is one of the most popular natural remedies for bags under eyes as it contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce puffiness. Simply put two slices of chilled cucumbers over your eyes for about 25 minutes.32

Cold spoon —One of the most convenient under-eye bags treatments is placing a cold spoon over your lower eyelids to cool down your blood vessels.33

Cold compress — Placing a cold compress over the eyes significantly reduces the swelling of blood vessels. Simply place a damp, ice-cold face towel over your eyes for 15 minutes to do this.34

Egg whites — Times of India suggests applying beaten egg whites around the eye area as a bags-under-eyes remedy. Leaving the egg whites on your skin for 20 minutes may help tighten it35 as they contain astringent properties.36

Potato or tomato — To lighten the dark circles under your eyes, use a cotton ball soaked in potato extract or fresh tomato juice. Squeeze out the excess and then place it over your under-eye skin for 10 minutes. Rinse after.

Avocado — This fruit has emollient properties that make it a good moisturizer for your skin. You may either directly place avocado slices over your eyes or make a mask mixed with a few drops of almond oil.

Lemon juice — With its natural bleaching properties, lemon juice may be used to help reduce the discoloration of the bags under your eyes. Remember to dilute it in water before applying the mixture to your under-eye skin to prevent irritation.37

Caffeinated tea — Cold tea bags are known to help slow down skin aging because of their antioxidant properties.38 If you’ve got spare tea bags, soak them first in warm water and then place inside the refrigerator to chill. Afterward, place the tea bags over your eyes for five minutes.39

Remember that these methods for eliminating under-eye bags using home remedies may or may not work for you as these marks are caused by different factors, as found by a 2014 study involving 200 patients with different forms of periorbital hyperpigmentation.40 Try a few and see which ones work best for you.

Essential Oils for Under-Eye Bags

In aromatherapy, essential oils are used to help boost a person’s mind, body and spirit. They may be diluted in carrier oil to be massaged on the skin, used with a diffuser or infused with hot water and inhaled via the steam.41 Aside from their therapeutic purposes, some essential oils such as lavender and Roman chamomile may help reduce puffiness and bags under the eyes because they contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Here’s a recipe for helping you reduce those dark circles using essential oils:42

Ingredients:

1 drop chamomile essential oil

1 drop lavender essential oil

30 ml aloe vera gel, lotion or cream

Procedure:

1.Mix the essential oils with aloe vera gel.

2.Cleanse your face then pat it dry.

3.Take a small amount from the mixture then gently apply it to the skin around your eyes.

Alternatively, cotton balls soaked in witch hazel oil may also be placed over your eyelids for 20 minutes to reduce the dark circles.43 Witch hazel has moisturizing and astringent properties that may tighten and hydrate the skin under the eyes.

Before doing any of these, see how your skin responds by testing the various topical ingredients on a small area of your forearm. Be sure to consult your health care provider or a professional aromatherapist if you intend to use essential oils, as some oils may contain compounds that may not be suitable for your skin.44

Is There a Need for an Under-Eye Bags Surgery?

As mentioned, having noticeable bags under the eyes is not a medical concern, but an aesthetic one that doesn’t imply a disease or a health-threatening condition.45 If the saggy skin obstructs your peripheral vision, an under-eye bags surgery or blepharoplasty could be done. This procedure gets rid of the excess tissue in your eyelids46 through an incision.

After removing the excess fat, the skin would then be stitched together.47 If your condition calls for a surgery, opt for transconjunctival than transcutaneous blepharoplasty so that the scar would not be visible.48

Having to remove bags under eyes by means of surgery may pose benefits and risks, so be sure to consult an expert before intending to undergo one.

Before Trying Home Remedies, Know the Underlying Cause First

Under-eye bags may be common, but data on how this condition develops is scarce.49 Many of the home remedies mentioned above may be easy to follow, but proper guidance from your health care provider is necessary for those to take effect. Make sure that you know the cause of your under-eye bags so that you’ll know which method is right for your condition.

Aging and genetics are two common causes of under-eye bags that you cannot control, so having a better lifestyle and attending to your skin care needs may be beneficial in reducing the appearance of these marks.

When you feel like the bags have become itchy, painful or severe, or if they blur or obstruct your vision, it’s best to visit your doctor immediately to address the problem and avoid further complications.50

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bags Under-Eye Bags

Q: How do I get rid of dark circles and bags under my eyes?

A: Home remedies that may help reduce bags under your eyes include moisturizing your skin, using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, caps or hats, avoiding salty foods, adding foods rich in retinol and vitamin C to your diet, and placing tea bags, potato peel, cucumber slices or cold spoons over your eyes.

Q: How do you fix bags under your eyes?

A: Having the thinnest skin of all body parts, eyelids and the skin around them are likely to develop damage as you age. Photodamage from exposure to UV rays may cause bags under the eyes. Some ways to help reduce this are topical antioxidant usage and sunscreen application.51

Q: Do eye creams really work?

A: Eye creams actually have the same formulation as facial moisturizers.52 When buying eye creams, look for organic ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, acai oil, green tea leaf extract and chamomile flower extract to ensure safety from potential chemicals.

– Sources and References

Macular Degeneration

Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight, LeanMachine, Health Researcher
Updated 3rd April 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine

Macular image
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is a type of central vision loss.
Central vision is essential for driving, reading, facial recognition, etc. The macula is an area covering only 2.1% of the retina, and 5.5mm diameter, but the most important.
AMD is the leading cause of vision impairment in the over-40s in Australia.
Normal macular grid

If we look at the black dot in the grid here, one eye at a time, we should see perfectly straight lines and the black dot in the centre.

 

 

 

 

Distorted macular grid

If we view the same grid but see any distortion in the chart, as this sample of advanced AMD vision, or if there is smudging or invisible areas, see an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

 

 

 

Types of AMD

Wet and Dry forms of macula
1. Dry AMD (atrophic AMND) is the most common.
2. Wet AMD affects only around 20% of sufferers, but is more serious.
Note: Often confused with Epiretinal membrane, often called a macular pucker, which can cause similar symptoms, but is quite different. This is a thin, almost transparent layer of fibrous cellular material, released from the retina and other parts of the eye into the vitreous gel that then settles to form a film over the macula, affecting vision. Epiretinal membranes can resolve on their own, and mild conditions may not need further attention. In some cases, Vitrectomy surgery may be required, involving removal and replacement of some or all of the vitreous humor (fluid or gel) from the eye, and lifting the film from the macula. Has a fairly good success rate.

Age-related is a misnomer

Doctors say the cause of AMD is unknown, but as it happens more in seniors, it is age-related, or genetic.
But the evidence now points to diet rather than age.
Dr. Chris Knobbe, Ophthalmologist and founder and president of the Cure AMD Foundation, believes that the skyrocketing rates of AMD worldwide are actually caused by the increased consumption of processed food, and has nothing to do with age or genetics.
Before 1925, there were about 50 reports of macular degeneration world-wide, even though Ophthalmologists had instuments to view the macula from the 1860’s.
Macular degeneration became only slightly more common in the 1940’s.
In 1975, over 4 million Americans had macular degeneration.
In 2019 there are over 180 million people with Macular Degeneration, and it is predicted that by 2040 this number will grow to over 280 million.
Research is now clearly pointing to processed foods as the culprit, mainly margarine, canola oil and other factory-produced franken-foods, already proven to cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and now AMD as well.

Preventing AMD

As there is no “cure” for AMD, prevention is our best option. Dietary changes can help prevent AMD, and at the same time, prevent cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and more.
Apart from the diet, we need to get more quality sleep, by eliminating blue light (computer screens) and sleeping in total darkness.

AMD Symptoms

AMD has no symptoms in the early stages.
Later symptoms include:

  • Distortion, but sometimes blur or missing image in central vision
  • Reduced definition of colours, or dim colour vision
  • Central vision blocked by dark shapes
  • Difficulty with close work, e.g. reading
  • Central vision loss

Macular degeneration does not cause any pain.
See an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms, or have any distortion on the chart.
Depending on the type of AMD, there are treatments, diet and lifestyle changes that can slow or stop vision loss, and may even improve vision.

High risk groups:

  • Those over 60
  • Family history of AMD
  • Smoking = 3 x risk
  • Obesity
  • Those working with computer, phone or TV screens
  • Caucasians have a higher risk than other races
  • Those with high blood pressure
  • Diet containing trans fats
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Females have higher risk

Smoking damages the retina, and increases risk of AMD an average of 3 fold. The retina requires a lot of oxygen, which is depleted in smokers.

Cause of AMD

Doctors still cannot pin-point a cause, but there are many things to help prevent or treat the condition.

Official AMD Treatment

Dry AMD Official medical treatments available for dry AMD appear to be very limited.
For now, positive changes to diet and lifestyle slows disease progression.
Note: Dry AMD can progress to wet AMD, so any sudden changes in vision should be immediately reported.
More info at: www.mdfoundation.com.au/content/dry-macular-degeneration-1
Wet AMD
The protein VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) is mainly responsible for leaking and growth of new blood vessels that result in rapid and severe vision loss, which if left untreated, becomes permanent.
Anti-VEGF drugs can be injected into the eye to slow or stop the AMD process.
Monthly injections are used for three months, then continued on an indefinite basis at an interval determined by the ophthalmologist in consultation with the patient. Injection treatment advice:
Injection treatment is not long, and normally carried out in the ophthalmologist’s rooms, but sometime in a day surgery facility.
Anaesthetics are given pre-injection, to reduce discomfort. If there is no apparent change in vision, appointments should still be kept to ensure there really is no change.
The Amsler grid should be used daily for each eye, any sudden vision changes should be reported urgently. Treatment may still require continuation, even if vision has stabilised or improved.
Read more: www.mdfoundation.com.au/content/wet-macular-degeneration

Stem Cell Technology

Scientists in Sweden innovated a method of treating blindness using embryonic stem cells to produce retinal cells. The team at Karolinska Institutet and St Erik Eye Hospital reported in March 2020, their approach of using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to amend retinal cell production so the generated cells can hide from the body’s immune system, protecting them from becoming rejected. Read more:
www.news-medical.net/news/20200330/Developments-in-treating-blindness-using-retinal-cell-production.aspx

Drugs for AMD

Lucentis® (Lampalizumab) is a drug that binds to Complement Factor D, a protein which is encoded by the CFD gene in humans.
It is a treatment for dry AMD, but appears to work best in patients with complement-risk genes. Genetic testing may be appropriate if this treatment is considered.

Eylea® (Aflibercept) is an anti-VEGF drug developed for wet AMD.
Avastin® (Bevacizumab) is an anti-VEGF drug, originally developed as a cancer drug. Not registered by the TRGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for use in the eye, so this use is “off-label”. Typically used for Australians not eligible for the approved drugs Lucentis or Eylea via POBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme).

Laser Treatments

PDT (Photodynamic Therapy) combines Visudyne, a light-activated drug, with cool laser light, directed on the relevant retinal area to seal and halt or slow progression of abnormal retinal blood vessels. The patient MUST avoid sunlight for 24 to 48 hours after drug infusion.
Patients having PDT usually continue to lose vision in the first six months of treatment, but then usually stabilises, halting severe vision loss, where anti-VEGF drugs start working faster.
PDT is now rarely used for normal AMD, but sometimes used with an anti-VEGF drug for patients with the polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy type of AMD, as this condition does not settle completely using anti-VEGF drugs alone.

Laser photocoagulation uses a concentrated beam of high-energy thermal light, directed to the retina to destroy and seal leaky blood vessels. The laser also destroys the retina adjacent to the blood vessel, so is used mainly to treat a small percentage of wet AMD patients who have new vessels not in the central vision.
Laser photocoagulation has a 50% recurrence rate, so close follow up and monitoring is essential.

Natural treatment for AMD

Food is vital, but only natural food, nothing processed. Processed foods are anything found in a supermarket on a box, bag, can etc.
Natural foods are only found in the greengrocery section, preferably in the organic area.
We should all aim for all foods in this area, with at least one meal daily as raw food, because we must have enzymes for optimum health and immunity.
Enzymes in raw food are destroyed by heating to over 50 degrees C (122 degrees F) which is about the temperature of hot water at the kitchen sink in most homes.
When cooking food, steaming is best. If we heat food over 120 degrees C (148 defrees F) by baking in the oven or frying etc, then AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products) are formed from proteins or fats, which, just like the AGE acronym, cause premature ageing, and a much higher risk for AMD as well as glaucoma, cataracts and other eye disease, as well as blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, brain disease, diabetes and other “modern” disease that did not exist 100 years ago.
Best foods are green leafy vegetables, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, lemons, bananas, apples, spinach and berries of all kinds.
Eggs are great, with Nature’s perfect packaging, but should be boiled for 10 minutes to destroy any pathogens, and not fried or any other high-temperature methods.
Limited full-fat dairy is fine unless there are allergies, but low-fat dairy should be avoided, as the nutrition is in the fat, not in the water.
Fish has Omega-3 fatty acids that benefit the eyes as well as the heart and brain. Again, steaming is the best way to cook fish.
Coconut Oil was used in an animal study to show significant reduction in caspase-3 activity (a protease enzyme causing inflammation and apoptosis).
Coconut oil helped protect the integrity of healthy cells in retinas through an anti-apoptotic mechanism, supporting a direct link between caspase-3 and progression of light-induced retinal degeneration.
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils we can consume, also boosting brain function in a single dose, increasing HDL (“good” cholesterol), reducing body-mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. Coconut oil reduces wound-healing time when applied topically.

Supplements for AMD prevention

The AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) found benefits of high dose supplements that helped prevent or treat AMD, and recommended that those diagnosed with AMD or at high risk should use these supplements as a guide.
The original AREDS study of zinc and antioxidants slowed progression of AMD by 20% to 25% for those in the intermediate or late stage of AMD, and delayed vision loss. The follow-up AREDS2 study included lutein/zeaxanthin.
The AREDS2 formula (daily dose):

  • Zinc (as zinc oxide) 80mg
  • Vitamin C 500mg
  • Vitamin E 400IU
  • Copper (as cupric oxide) 2mg
  • Lutein 10mg
  • Zeaxanthin 2mg

However, LeanMachine regards most of these ingredients as sub-standard or even harmful, even though they helped those in the study.
One example of a product NOT to buy:
Bausch & Lomb, PreserVision, AREDS 2 Formula claims to conform to AREDS2 formula, but LeanMachine does not endorse this product.
Their Vitamin E is a synthetic dl-alpha-tocopherol (natural versions have a “d” prefix, d-alpha-tocopherol, where a “dl” prefix means an artificial product), and does not contain tocotrienols or the beta, gamma and delta versions of each, which make up the 8 components of Vitamin E.
Also it contains titanium dioxide (brain and nerve damage and a Group 2B carcinogen)
Titanium dioxide image
Also contains food dyes red #40 and blue #1 (can be contaminated with cancer-causing agents).
Contains Cupric oxide, but negligible copper is absorbed from this form.
Zinc oxide is dangerous and can damage DNA.

While healthy foods will help delay AMD, as well as reducing risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, obesity, other eye disease and more, there is often not enough healthy content available to give the AMD patient enough of the correct nutrition, due to intensive farming practices, combined with toxic chemical additives in the soil.
Lean Machine recommends a combination of a healthy diet, supplements and sun exposure for optimum nutrition.
Oxidative stress is a major factor in progression of AMD, so antioxidants are important.
Various vitamins and minerals have been proven to reduce AMD symptoms, but eye doctors seldom pass on this information.
Supplements do not make up for a bad diet. Supplements often only supply a single important extract, but whole, natural foods contain fibre, enzymes and many other important compounds, so LeanMachine recommends a combination of both.
The following are the main supplements LeanMachine recommends for AMD patients:

  • OptiZinc is much better absorbed and much safer than zinc oxide. Also includes copper, but not enough, see chelated copper below
  • Vitamin C
     – Pure pharmaceutical grade ascorbic acid powder is economical and effective. 1/4 teaspoon daily is 1250mg, more than enough for AMD, and added benefit for preventing or slowing progression of cataracts
  • Vitamin E
     contains the extra 4 tocotrienols missing from cheap vitamins. Also good for the heart
  • Chelated Copper is much better absorbed, and much safer than Cupric Oxide. Note: Metallic copper is bad for the body. Copper cookware should not be used, and a Reverse Osmosis system should be used for all drinking and cooking to help eliminate fluoride, metallic copper, lead, arsenic, aluminium and other toxins
  • Lutein with Zeaxanthin. Lutein is extremely important as an antioxidant for eye health. This product includes OptiLut which increases lutein bio-availability, and also includes zeaxanthin

LeanMachine also recommends the following as added protection for AMD:

In addition, mitochondria health is essential. Foods improving mitochondria are:
1. Proteins such as fish, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs that support Glutathione and other amino acids which protect the mitochondria.
2. Antioxidants – colourful vegetables, fresh fruit, herbs, spices, berries. Best spices are cloves and turmeric.
Supplements for Glutathione include:

Inform the doctor of any other medical conditions and any other medications, vitamins or mineral supplements.

Other Eye Disease

Many other conditions affect sight, and I will discuss these later in separate articles. Of course, it is quite possible to have more than one condition, so early diagnosis is essential so we are more likely to be dealing with the first condition without confusing treatment with two or more conditions.
Here are a few of the most common:

  • Epiretinal membrane is often confused with Macular Degeneration, but is a film over the Macula
  • Diabetic Retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina, and is the most common cause of vision loss among diabetics.
  • glaucoma affects peripheral vision.
  • Cataracts where the lens gradually becomes opaque
  • CMV Retinitis an infection of the retina, often affecting those with poor immunity or with AIDS
  • Diabetic Macular Oedema caused by fluid accumulation in the macula causing severe blurred vision
  • Retinal Detachment the retina separates from the nerve tissue and blood supply underneath it
  • Uveitis is inflammation of one or more of the uvea, the nerve tissue, and/or blood supply underneath. Common with Sarcoidosis

Eye Checkups

Everyone should get an annual eye check.
Most people are first checked by an optometrist, and when a problem is found they are normally referred to an ophthalmologist.
First, after a quick eye chart test, with and without glasses, amblyopia (“lazy eye”) is tested by covering one eye and looking for movement in the other eye, also ocular motility testing to determine how well the eyes follow a moving object, and stereopsis or depth perception.
Then a refraction test checks the degree of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia to determine a prescription of any eye-glasses required.
Eye drops are used to enlarge the pupils and allow better scrutiny of the inner eye.
Warning:These drops can last 4 to 6 hours, and when the patient ventures out into bright light, the pupils cannot respond quickly by reducing the pupil size, so glare and blurred vision can make driving or other activities dangerous, but everyone has a different reaction, and sun glasses are a must.
The doctor uses a “slit lamp” and checks the eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens. Conditions are checked for retinal detachment, dry eye, blocked tear ducts, drainage problems, cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy and other eye disease.
The retina is examined and usually retina photographs are taken for reference in future tests to check for any change.
Typical Retina Photograph

Colour blindness is normally checked using the Ishihara Color Vision Test booklet, each page containing a circular pattern comprising many dots of various colors, brightness and sizes, making up a single digit number. The full test contains 38 fifferent pages, but a basic test will only involve 14 or 24 different pages. A colour-blind person will see no number, or a different number in this test. Any problems in colour blindness may indicate a health problem such as glaucoma, MS (multiple sclerosis), diabetic retinopathy, macular edema and other disorders, as well as color vision issues caused by long-term use of some prescription medications.
For colour-blind people, specially tinted glasses can improve the distinguishment and vividness of various colours as a vision aid.
The retina has cone photoreceptors, and the red and green cones are often most affected, causing “red-green colour blindness”.

Foods to avoid

  • Baked foods. Gluten from wheat products damages the gut, even if we are not diagnosed as a Celiac.
    All baked goods are not natural, contain very little nutritional value, and have been subjected to high temperatures causing AGEs
  • Processed meats, as almost all cold meats contain sulfite or nitrite preservatives (chemical numbers in the 200 series) which are known to cause cancer and Alzheiner’s
  • Soft drinks, as almost all contain 211 or other 200 series chemical preservatives that cause cancer, as well as sugar and/or artificial sweeteners that also cause cancer
  • Fruit juices, as many have added sugar and/or preservatives, etc. Better to eat a piece of fruit, as the fibre aids gut bacteria and digestion, and the chewing slows down consumption. Immunity starts in the mouth, with saliva starting the breakdown of food. This benefit disappears when gulping down juice
  • Anything fried and almost everything else at the take-away counter. If we need take-away food, try a fresh apple and keep the doctor and the ophthalmologist away
  • Low-fat anything. Fat-reduced foods have been processed, and usually fats have been replaced with sugar, one of the worst culprits for inflammation and disease of all types
  • Any foods with added or “fortified” iodine, folic acid, iron, vitamin D, etc as invariably these are cheap supplements and are quite often causing damage to the body by blocking uptake of the real nutrients in food
  • Bad fats – Margarine – do not be fooled by unscrupulous advertising from margarine manufacturers who claim that margarine reduces cholesterol. Maybe it does at first, but cholesterol is not our enemy, only OXIDISED Very Low LDL is bad, and that is the main ingredient in margarine. Alternative: Coconut oil, butter, cold olive oil.
  • Canola oil – heat processing in production oxidises this fat. Cooking with canola oil oxidises the fat even more. NEVER use canola oil for anything.
    Alternative: Coconut oil
  • Sunflower Oil – similar problem to canola oil. Flaxseed or coconut oil is a much healthier alternative.

 

Bad drugs

  • Paracetamol, panadol, acetaminophen, tylenol – different names for the same drug marketed as “safe and effective” but it destroys L-Glutathione, the body’s own master antioxidant, and damages the liver. Around 90% of patients on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of paracetamol overdose. Alternatives for pain:
    (a) MSM – primarily for joint pain but helps reduce the sensation of any pain.
    (b) Bacopa – primarily for slight blood thinning and higher brain function, but also helps with pain
  • Statins – cholesterol lowering drugs that increase risk of diabetes, clobber our Vitamin D, cause muscle pain, liver and kidney disease, reduced immunity, and on average may slightly reduce risk of a heart attack but increase death risk from all other causes, so most people taking statins will not live one day longer, and have a poor quality of life
  • Aspirin increases risk of Wet AMD by causing leakage of blood vessels under the macula, causing scar tissue.
    Do not take aspirin for cardiovascular disease or pain, as the risks for internal bleeding and/or Wet AMD outweigh any advantages. Read more in my Blood Thinner article

Cooking Methods

The best cooking method is NONE. Heating food over around 50 degrees Celcius (about the temperature of hot water at the kitchen sink) destroys most or all of the beneficial enzymes, so salads, fruit or other cold foods should be consumed at least once daily. An organic apple a day keeps the doctor and the ophthalmologist away…
The second best cooking method is STEAMING, which means a maximum of 100 degrees Centigrade (212 degrees F). Other cooking methods heat food well over the safety limit of 120 degrees Centigrade. Over 120 degrees C, AGEs (Advanced Glycation End-products) form, which change the chemical structure of the food, causing damage to the mitochondria and many body systems.
Microwaving also damages the chemical structure of food, and studies show negative blood test results in humans after consuming microwaved food.
LeanMachine Health Supplements

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been studying nutrition and health since 2011 and has completed many relevant studies including:

  • Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
  • RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
  • Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
  • University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I & II
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
  • TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
  • TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease 1 & II
  • Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
  • Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
  • WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
  • WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
  • Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
  • LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing

Disclaimer: Any information here is for educational purposes, and the needs of each individual varies, so everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure that there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010, and has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.
Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

3 superfood greens that are more nutritious than kale

Reproduced from original article:
https://www.naturalhealth365store.com/3-superfood-greens-healthier-kale
Posted by Jonathan Landsman on 24th January 2020

For a long time now, we’ve all thought kale was the super food in terms of nutrient density – and it wasn’t that easy for a lot of us to make it past that bitter taste, unfortunately.

But did you know that kale actually ranks 15th in terms of nutrient density in a study recently published by the CDC titled Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables (PFV): A Nutrient Density Approach?  You can find a link to that report below, so that you can read all about the 41 fruits and vegetables that the CDC found to be nutrient powerhouses.

Let’s look at the top 3 “super food” greens that rank higher than kale.

Watercress (nutrient density score of 100) 

 Watercress might look like a more delicate smallish leaves, but watercress is actually a relative of horseradish and mustard greens and it tastes very peppery, indeed.

 Watercress is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, alongside nutritious vegetables like Brussel’s sprouts, kale, arugula, and broccoli. Plus, it’s packed with so much nutrition it might just qualify as the super food of the decade.

Ranking at 100 in terms of nutrient-density, just one cup of watercress gives you 106% of your vitamin K requirement, and around a fourth of your RDA for vitamins A and C.

Watercress is also a great source of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, and magnesium and it’s jam-packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect you against oxidative damage in the form of free radicals, which are associated with aging, cancer, and many other debilitating diseases like Alzhiemer’s.

Scientists have also found that eating watercress daily can reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be the hallmark event that triggers the development of cancer. The same study revealed that eating watercress daily improved blood levels of lutein (by 100%) and beta-carotene (by 33%) – 2 phytonutrients which are very protective of the eyes, preventing macular degeneration and cataracts.

 Try adding watercress to your salads, pairing it with mild but equally nutritious greens like green leaf lettuce or Bibb lettuce!

Chinese or Napa cabbage (nutrient density score of 91.99)

Napa cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable that is jam-packed with nutrition. Napa cabbage provides 85% of your RDA for vitamin K and over half your RDA for vitamin C.

It’s also rich in nutrients like folate, hard-to-get manganese, and vitamin B6 as well. Cabbage was voted one of two vegetables which can help prevent diabetes (the other being root vegetables). Being a cruciferous vegetable, it’s also proven to help reduce blood markers for inflammation.

Like watercress, Chinese or Napa cabbage is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients and is currently being researched for its cancer-fighting benefits. One study of Chinese women found that consumption of brassica vegetables like Chinese cabbage helped to significantly reduce breast cancer risk.

Swiss chard (nutrient density score of 89.27) 

 A nutrient-dense powerhouse, Swiss chard contains 44% of your RDA for vitamin A, 18% of your RDA or vitamin C, and a whopping 374% of your RDA for vitamin K.

Swiss chard is loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients, including a potent flavonoid called syringic acid, which aids the liver in detoxifying the body, and which helps lower liver enzymes and prevent liver degeneration as well.

Swiss chard is also rich in powerful antioxidants called betalains, which have powerful antioxidant and detoxification properties by supporting the phase II pathways of the liver.

Because it’s so packed with vitamin K, yielding over 3 times your RDA for this nutrient, Swiss chard can help lower blood cytokines, which raise your risk for inflammation and inflammation-based diseases, especially type 2 diabetes.

Editor’s note: The NaturalHealth365 Store offers the finest quality nutritional supplements to support a healthy lifestyle.  Click here to shop today!

Sources for this article include:

CDC.gov

NIH.gov

NIH.gov

NIH.gov

NIH.gov

NIH.gov

The Importance of Lutein for Eye and Brain Health


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/02/10/lutein-eye-health.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     

February 10, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Lutein is well-known for its vision-enhancing properties. Research also suggests it has neuroprotective qualities, improving memory and boosting intelligence
  • There’s an inverse association between lutein levels in the eyes and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary cause of blindness in the elderly, as well as cataracts
  • Lutein has also been shown to prevent cell death caused by retinal detachment when administered in a timely manner, and can help improve night vision
  • Lutein may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases by preventing DNA damage, the depletion of BDNF and the degradation of a synaptic vesicle protein involved in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It’s also been shown to help maintain the integrity of your brain’s white matter
  • Your body cannot manufacture lutein, so you need to get it from your diet. Lutein is a carotenoid found in egg yolks, avocados, cruciferous vegetables and dark, leafy greens, especially kale and spinach

Lutein — a carotenoid found in egg yolks, avocados, cruciferous vegetables and dark, leafy greens — is well-known for its vision-enhancing properties.1 Research also suggests it has neuroprotective qualities,2 improving memory3 and boosting intelligence.4 As reported in the Senior Resource Guide:5

“Lutein belongs in the subclass of xanthophylls, which have polar molecular structures that possess unique membrane properties, such as fluidity, communication between brain cells, ion exchange, diffusion of oxygen, membrane stability, and the prevention of oxidation and inflammation.

Like other xanthophylls, lutein accumulates in neural tissue. In fact, lutein accounts for most of the carotenoid accumulation in the human brain, and this high concentration of lutein in the brain may indicate its neuroprotective value.

Lutein accumulates in the brain and embeds in cell membranes. There, lutein protects the neuronal structure and function of brain cells. While lutein is distributed in the gray matter of the brain, researchers have detected its presence in the temporal cortex, the prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus. Lutein accumulates in the brain over a person’s lifespan and may therefore provide lifelong benefits to brain health.”

Your body cannot manufacture lutein, so you need to get it from your diet. Unfortunately, many do not get enough lutein simply because they don’t eat enough vegetables and/or eggs.

How Lutein Protects Your Vision

As its name implies, lutein is found in high concentrations in your macula lutea,6 the small central part of your retina responsible for detailed central vision. It’s also found in your macular pigment (it’s responsible for the yellow hue of the macula7) and the lens of your eye.

Epidemiological research has found an inverse association between lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the eyes and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary cause of blindness in the elderly, and cataracts.8,9

As explained in the 2013 paper,10 “The Role of Lutein in Eye-Related Disease,” lutein and zeaxanthin (another carotenoid present in high concentration in the eyes) help prevent age-related eye degeneration by ameliorating the damage caused by blue light and oxygen free radicals. Blue light is responsible for a majority of the damage to the eye, and lutein selectively absorbs blue light.

According to this paper, “Dietary concentrations between 6 and 20 mg per day of lutein have been associated with a reduced risk of ocular disorders such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.”

A more recent scientific review,11 published in 2019 in PLOS ONE, found people who took 10 mg or 20 mg of lutein per day had greater macular pigment optical density (MPOD), and better visual acuity and contrast sensitivity than those who did not supplement.

Macular pigment, the yellow pigmented area found in the center of your retina, acts as “internal sunglasses,” protecting your macula from harmful blue light. The denser your macular pigment, the lower your risk of developing AMD. Greater MPOD is also associated with better visual performance overall.12

According to the authors of the 2019 PLOS ONE review, “The available evidence suggests that dietary lutein may be beneficial to AMD patients and the higher dose could make MPOD increase in a shorter time.” Lutein has also been shown to prevent cell death caused by retinal detachment, when administered in a timely manner,13 and can help improve night vision.14,15

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Lutein’s Role in Brain Health and Cognition

More recent research has also found lutein plays an important role in brain health, and may even help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.16 As noted in the 2012 paper,17 “Neuroprotective Effects of Lutein in the Retina,” lutein benefits your brain and cognition by preventing:

  • DNA damage
  • Depletion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is important for brain health
  • Degradation of synaptophysin, a synaptic vesicle protein involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been shown to help maintain the integrity of your brain’s white matter,18 and this too can lower your risk of age-related decline.

Lutein Benefits Both the Old and the Young

In one 2017 study,19,20,21 which involved 60 adults between the ages of 25 and 45, those with higher levels of lutein in middle-age had more youthful neural responses than those with lower levels.

Carotenoid status was assessed by measuring MPOD, which is also highly correlated with the lutein status in your brain. Most studies have focused on the effects of diet after cognitive decline has already set in.

Here, they wanted to evaluate whether lutein might have a preventive effect, as the process of cognitive decline has been shown to begin far earlier than typically expected. According to the researchers, you can start seeing cognitive deterioration as early as your 30s.

Indeed, the results suggest your diet, and in this case lutein-rich foods, does help keep your brain young. As noted by co-author Naiman Khan, professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois:22

“Now there’s an additional reason to eat nutrient-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, eggs and avocados. We know these foods are related to other health benefits, but these data indicate that there may be cognitive benefits as well.”

Lutein has also been shown to benefit younger people. In one such study,23 healthy 18- to 30-year-olds exhibited better brain function after taking lutein and zeaxanthin supplements for a year. Significant improvements were seen spatial memory, reasoning ability and complex attention.

Cognitive Benefits Associated With Higher Lutein Levels

Several other studies support these findings. For example, in one University of Georgia study,24 older adults (mean age 72) taking 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily for one year were able to maintain their brain function, whereas the placebo group’s verbal learning ability and word recall deteriorated over the course of the study.

The mechanism thought to be responsible for this protective effect was enhanced blood flow through the brain. A number of other studies looking at lutein’s influence on cognition have shown that higher lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the macula are associated with improved:25,26,27

Verbal learning and fluency

Word recall

Executive function such as sorting and prioritizing information and the ability to take action

“Crystallized intelligence”28 — the ability to use learned knowledge and experience (opposed to the ability to logically reason your way through a new situation or problem, which is known as “fluid intelligence”29)

Relational memory performance30,31 — the ability to remember a person’s name when seeing their face, or to retell a story

Other Health Benefits of Lutein

Lutein has also been found to promote health in other ways, beside optimizing vision and cognition. For example, studies have found:

Diets rich in the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene resulted in greater resistance against oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Higher plasma concentration of carotenoids was also associated with lower DNA damage.32
Lutein and zeaxanthin in combination with vitamin E appears to improve lung function and respiratory health.33
Plasma levels of antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are inversely correlated with congestive heart failure severity.34
Plasma carotenoid levels are also inversely correlated with prostate cancer.35
Lutein and lycopene enhance eye health by reducing your risk for oxidative stress-induced loss of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, and inhibiting the cell growth in undifferentiated RPE cells.36
Lutein has been shown to induce autophagy and may help shield your body against certain stresses.37
Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been shown to increase bone density in young, healthy adults.38 Lutein appears to stimulate bone mineralization and formation by suppressing bone resorption.

Lutein-Rich Foods

Lutein is primarily found in green leafy vegetables, with kale and spinach topping the list of lutein-rich foods. You’ll also find it in orange- and yellow-colored fruits and vegetables. The word lutein actually comes from the Latin word “luteus,” which means “yellow.”

As a general rule, anywhere from 15% 47% of the total carotenoid content in dark green leafy vegetables is lutein.39 Following is a list of foods that are particularly rich in lutein.40,41,42 Most of these also contain zeaxanthin, albeit in lesser quantities than lutein.

  • Egg yolks
  • Kale and spinach
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Green, red and yellow peppers

Ideally, you’ll want to buy the whole food and consume these foods as close to raw as possible, as the lutein (and other carotenoids such as zeaxanthin) are easily damaged by heat. Accessory micronutrients in the foods that enhance their action also tend to get easily damaged.

While there’s no recommended daily intake for lutein or zeaxanthin, studies have found health benefits for lutein at a dose of 10 milligrams (mg) per day and at 2 mg/day for zeaxanthin.

How to Optimize Lutein Absorption

Lutein and other carotenoids are fat-soluble, so to optimize absorption, be sure to add a little bit of healthy fat to your meal. For example, research43,44 shows that adding a couple of eggs — which contain both lutein and healthy fats — to your salad can increase the carotenoid absorption from the whole meal as much as ninefold.

Ideally, opt for organically-raised, free-range pastured eggs. Not only do they tend to have a better nutritional profile, by opting for pastured eggs you’ll also avoid pesticide exposure and genetically modified organisms. I raise six chickens and typically eat five eggs a day — the yolks raw in my smoothie and the whites cooked with my meat.

The vast majority of commercially available eggs come from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where the hens are not permitted to forage on pasture. Instead, they’re typically fed a diet of corn and soy, the vast majority of which are genetically engineered. CAFO eggs are also far more prone to cause foodborne illness caused by salmonella contamination

If you live in an urban area, visiting a local health food store is typically the quickest route to finding high-quality local egg sources. Your local farmers market is another source for fresh free-range eggs. Cornucopia.org also offers a helpful organic egg scorecard45 that rates egg manufacturers based on 22 criteria that are important for organic consumers.

You can often tell the eggs are free-range by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks, indicative of higher amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Another way to boost absorption of lutein from your vegetables is to add some raw organic butter or healthy oil such as olive or coconut oil to your salad.

Eat Right to Avoid AMD

To protect your vision over the long haul, aside from making sure you’re eating plenty of lutein-rich foods, you’ll also want to avoid a high-glycemic diet. As reported by Tufts University in 2017:46

“Sheldon Rowan, a scientist in the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, said there are plenty of indications that the types of carbohydrates we eat play a role in the development of AMD.

People who eat lots of simple carbohydrates, like those in white bread and sweetened beverages, are more likely to get the disease. This could be because simple carbs break down rapidly during digestion, creating a spike in blood sugar that can lead to widespread inflammation, a condition linked to AMD … If … blood glucose stays low over a long period of time, Rowan said, it can lower incidence of AMD.

To understand why, Rowan tested the two diets on laboratory mice. Over the course of a year, he fed one group of mice ‘high-glycemic’ foods — ones with lots of simple starches. A second group got a ‘low-glycemic’ diet, rich in complex carbs, but otherwise identical in calories and nutrients. In a third group, Rowan switched the mice’s diet from high- to low-glycemic foods halfway through the study.

Sure enough, mice with the low-glycemic diet did not develop AMD, while mice fed the high-glycemic diet almost all came down with the disease … In the mice that switched diets, though, Rowan saw something completely unexpected. Not only did they avoid AMD, but the existing damage to their retinas was reversed.

‘No one had ever seen that before,’ Rowan said of the findings, which were reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.47 ‘The most common form of AMD doesn’t really have a treatment right now — but this suggests that just changing to a healthier eating pattern could have a huge impact.’”

Further exploration revealed that high-glycemic diets led to higher levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which Rowan points out are “toxic end products of sugars” that “can damage the proteins and lipids that a cell needs to function.”

In the retina, the damaged proteins accumulate forming drusen, yellow deposits that damage your retinal cells.48 Elevated insulin levels also affect the development of your eyeball, making it abnormally long, thereby causing near-sightedness.49

Following my nutrition plan will help normalize your insulin level by reducing, or eliminating, excess sugar and processed grains from your diet. To learn more about which foods can help safeguard your vision, please see my previous articles, “Eat Right to Protect Your Eyesight,” and “The Best Foods for Healthy Eyes.”

– Sources and References

Candida

Written by Brenton Wight, Health Researcher, LeanMachine
Copyright © Brenton Wight, LeanMachine
Updated 31st January 2020

Candida albicans, also known as Yeast infections, Fungal infections, Mycosis and Thrush

Almost everyone has Candida in their bodies. For most of us, it causes no problems.
But if our immune system is compromised by antibiotics, poor diet, sleep deprivation or other factors, candida can grow uncontrollably.
Each of us has about 70 to 100 or more trillion bacteria in our bodies, weighing between 1 and 2kg, or over 3% of our total body weight.
Most of them good, but some are bad – really bad, like yeast, parasites and other organisms, and most of the time we don’t know they are even there.
If we are healthy with a good diet, our immune system and the good bugs keeps the bad bugs under control. We can never eliminate them, but we can keep them at levels where they can’t do too much harm.
75% of our immune system is in the gut – our trillions of good bacteria is our second, but most important line of defence against unwelcome invaders.
Our first line of defence is in the mouth, and this is where our good bacteria first start to knock out the bad guys, and this is why sugar should be banned from our diet, as sugar keeps the bad bugs fed well.
Healthy gut flora keeps candida under control, because in it’s normal state, Candida is a relatively weak fungal type bug.
Unfortunately, under some conditions, Candida can transform into dangerous mutations, changing to an aggressive bug which can cause systemic (throughout the entire body) destruction.
Candida is very common, and very dangerous.
75% of women, and many men, suffer from Candida in some form at some stage, from minor symptoms including rashes, increased PMS issues and bad breath, to severe conditions like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), depression, joint pain, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
A Candida problem can be a host of apparently unrelated chronic symptoms which refuse to go away, regardless of treatments, and a course of antibiotics only makes things much worse.

Mainstream Medicine Mistakes

In the 1980’s links were found between candida, chronic fatigue, chronic pain problems and fibromyalgia-type symptoms.
Mainstream health professionals have little idea how to diagnose, let alone treat Candida issues, and those who do attempt to treat Candida use dangerous medications which often exacerbate the situation by destroying our good bacteria, leaving us defenseless against the bad guys.
Creams, oils, lotions, etc are only marginally effective on the skin where applied, and cannot resolve systemic, body-wide infestations.
The “nuke it” approach, with powerful anti-fungal prescription medications, can work temporarily, but Candida is smart enough to disguise itself and eventually develop resistance to the medication.
Drugs used for other purposes such as antibiotics, cortisone therapy, immune-suppressants, even birth control pills can start a Candida infestation explosion.
Candida critters are very smart.
Classified as a fungus, but are in fact part plant, part animal, part bacteria, part parasite, and able to reproduce themselves either sexually (with a mate) or asexually (by themselves), and by re-arranging their own chromosomes, can alter their shape and forms to adapt to the environment and ensure survival.
No surprise that with these attributes, it can be very difficult to dispose of yeast infections!

How Candida Works

In the normal, relatively harmless yeast form, under the microscope, Candida looks like a small white egg, with a smooth and consistent shape and living in our gut.
Candida feeds on the food we eat and normally keeps to itself, but under some conditions, it mutates into a monster super-fungus, multiplying rapidly to colonise in every possible part of the body.
In some areas it can double the colony size every hour, so before long it runs rampant, destroying everything in it’s path.
The best way to start this happening is to feed it it’s favourite food – sugar!

Candida Symptoms

  • White coating on the tongue
  • Development of food sensitivities
  • Aches and pains without a known cause
  • Bloating, constipation or diarrhea
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Dry or other skin problems
  • Vaginitis (inflammation of the female genital area)
  • Breathing problems

Mutated Forms

The mutated form called mycelial-form of Candida grows rhixoids, which are elongated, finger-like tentacles that tunnel, bore and burrow their way through our gut walls, where they enter the blood vessels, to be transported everywhere in the body, blooming to a systemic infection.
They now appear anywhere – heart, eyes, kidneys, liver, lungs and even the brain. A yeast infection is not just a minor annoyance causing a little itching – this is a warning sign that some insidious thing is happening.
Like tree roots which can crack, lift and eventually destroy pavement, Candida does the same thing to our bodies as it mutates into the dangerous super-fungus form. Apart from entering the blood through the cracks in our gut and spreading, another opportunity is now “opened up” – many other undesirable things now enter our blood stream through these cracks; things which should normally stay in our gut: Bacteria, toxins, undigested food, milk, etc.

A short note about Milk

This is a good reason why no-one should ever drink homogenised milk, as the fat globules in homogenised milk are ten times smaller than un-homogenised milk, easily entering the blood through the tiniest holes in the gut.
When undigested milk enters the bloodstream directly through a “leaky gut”, the body’s own immune system recognises this as a unwanted invader and attempts to destroy it. From that time on, the immune system remembers this pattern, and we then have a milk allergy.
Leaky gut is the main culprit for the rapid rise in allergies we have seen in the last few decades, as we are now allergic to every food that passes directly into the blood.
We can find unhomogenised milk at all good supermarkets if we look hard enough, but none of the major brands make it.
Sure we have to shake the container to mix the cream, but that is a small price to pay for our better health, and I should also mention that we should never buy low-fat or skim milk, as all of the nutrients, including CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and Omega-7, have been lost with the cream.
The “Low Fat” advertising is a gimmick. We lose weight more effectively with full-cream milk compared to low-fat milk.
Milk also contains lactose. Like most other things ending in “ose”, lactose is a sugar, and sugar feeds candida (and cancers).
Again, milk fills a complete chapter in my upcoming book, so I’ll leave a summary: Most people do better without milk, have less allergies without milk, lose more weight without milk, have stronger bones without milk, but if you have to have milk, FULL-CREAM and UN-HOMOGENISED milk is the only reasonably healthy milk to buy, and if you can get it straight from the cow (NON-PASTEURISED), even better.

Candida Waste Products

Candida overgrowth can make us feel sick, tired, plain lousy, and can make us drunk from inside out!
As yeast dies as part of it’s natural life cycle, acetaldehyde is released. This is a toxin which the liver converts to ethanol, the same hangover-causing chemical produced by high consumption of alcohol, so Candida sufferers often feel like they have a hangover without drinking a drop of alcohol, because they have an alcohol factory in their own body.
Another problem, as if we don’t have enough problems already, is “Candida Poo”, which is the 79 distinct toxins and waste by-products released as part of the Candida lifecycle. It’s bad enough that we feed all parasites, but we have to clean up and dispose of their waste and toxic elements as well as recover from the damage and disease they cause!
Candida infestation can continue growing, producing more acetaldehyde, causing our blood alcohol level to rise enough to cause symptoms such as impaired thinking, lack of concentration, irritability, depression, brain fog, slowed reflexes, fatigue and other signs of excess alcohol.
In this state, red blood cells have trouble flowing into small capillaries, aggravating migraine headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, slowing healing.
At the same time, white blood cells have reduced ability to fight infection, often causing allergies, rashes, acne and even further inhibiting of healing processes.
Like the way bread rises from yeast because of carbon dioxide released from carbohydrate fermentation, Candida builds up carbon dioxide in the intestine, resulting in excess gas, bloating, and yet another waste product for the over-taxed body to dispose of.

The Real Candida Cause

Can we defeat this little terror? Of course we can, but we must get back to basics to eliminate problems once and for all.
Why do we get Candida in the first place? Everyone has Candida, because we can’t help consuming it from food, water and the environment, but the reason it develops is because our body gets out of balance, and our immune system gets compromised, allowing immediate, almost uncontrollable flourishing of Candida.
We cannot destroy Candida completely without killing ourselves, so our only real, long-lasting solution is to re-balance the body, restore the immune system, and let the body’s own natural defenses do their job.
If we have bad breath, rashes, fatigue, trouble concentrating, brain fog, strange allergies, weird pains or anything we can’t explain, it could be a sign that something is out of whack, allowing Candida to get out of control, and even if the problem is not Candida, correcting the balance and immune system of the body is the first step to recovery from any sickness.

Candida and Cancer

New research is now finding a link between Candida infections and Cancer. While billions of dollars are being spent on cancer research, cancer cases are increasing, now overtaking cardiovascular issues as a leading cause of death. LeanMachine suggests that staying Candida free is the first step in staying Cancer free. Like most modern diseases, prevention is the key, then requiring no cure.

The Cure

We must create an environment which is good for nourishment of the body, but bad for Candida. By following these guidelines, we will remain Candida free, and also reduce the risk of Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and most other “modern” diseases.

  • Eliminate all sugar from the diet. The natural sweetener Xylitol is OK as it is a 5-carbon sugar alcohol, and despite it’s misleading name (it is technically neither a sugar, nor an alcohol), it will not feed Candida, and has far less insulin-spiking effect. Other alternatives are Erythritol and Stevia, with virtually zero insulin spiking. Avoid all artificial sweeteners. In the long term, lose the sweet-tooth altogether
  • Change to an alkaline-forming diet, as acids cause Candida and other parasites to thrive. See my Alkaline Diet Article
  • Avoid yeast in all forms. All grain/flour based products will acidify and aggravate our bodies, and are usually made with yeast, the best food for Candida. No more bread, cakes, biscuits, muffins, etc. Tough for some people but you will thank me a few weeks! Excess weight will slowly disappear, while digestion, health and energy will all improve, and the holes in the gut caused by flour products will begin to heal
  • Keep cool and dry, wear well-ventilated clothing and live in a well-ventilated house. Candida loves sugar, warmth and moisture. Avoid artificial fibres in clothing. Keep to natural fibres like cotton, bamboo or wool. Before buying any clothing, give it a sniff. Any trace of a chemical smell? Leave it in the store
  • Never take antibiotics unless there is a severe, life-threatening situation. Antibiotics encourage Candida and other harmful organisms by destroying their natural enemies (the good bacteria)
  • Reduce carbohydrate intake, as all carbs feed Candida. This means potatoes, pasta, grains, cereals, breads, cakes, etc. A healthy body requires NONE of these “foods”. There is NO medical condition such as “Carbohydrate Deficiency” as the body can make all the carbs it needs from breaking down protein
  • Take liver detox supplements such as Milk Thistle
  • Add some parsley to each meal. Easy to grow yourself in a pot, and available at the greengrocer or supermarket
  • Take a supplement containing Pau D’Arco or Candida Support
  • The main ingredient in Pau d’Arco is beta-lapachone, also a potent catalyst for NADH (Reduced Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, or NAD+ or CoEnzyme E1), important for mitochondria, the energy components of every cell in the body and as a sensor for stress and disease
  • Also consider Pumpkin Seed Oil for more parasite protection
  • Most kitchens have cloves in the spice rack. Add them to everything to help control Candida and other parasites, and add a great flavour at the same time
  • Berberine has anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing, anti-microbial properties against bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Berberine’s action against Candida pathogens is stronger than prescription antibiotics commonly used
  • Echinacea is also of benefit in building the immune system
  • Aloe contains a mucopolysaccharide with strong immune properties and also benefits the mitochondria
  • Take a probiotic supplement such as Acidophilus or at least eat some yogurt every day to help re-build the good gut flora
  • Try to use a probiotic that includes a FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides), a pre-biotic that enhances functionality of gut flora, included in Acidophilus above
  • Fermented foods – sauerkraut, etc are a good source of probiotics, generally much more than available in supplements
  • Eat more high-fibre foods like chia seeds, preferably containing over 40 grams of fibre daily
  • Or take a daily fibre supplement containing Psyllium to improve regularity, keep things moving through the colon, improve internal cleansing and reduce risk of colon cancer. Can help relieve constipation, but because it increases bulk with both soluble and insoluble fibre, may also help with diarrhoea
  • Eat some garlic every day, or at least onions or shallots, but if the taste and odour is not to your liking, then try Odorless Garlic
  • To help cleanse the blood and the liver, eat Chlorophyll-rich foods (Green leafy vegetables) every day, or take Chlorophyll supplements. The molecular structure of Chlorophyll and Haemoglobin appear identical, apart from one small difference: Haemoglobin has a central iron atom (making blood red), while Chlorophyll has a central magnesium atom (making plants green)
  • Coconut Oil contains Caprylic Acid, along with capric acid and lauric acid, MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) that help defeat candida as it is a natural anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial product, and also helps lose weight, as MCT’s go straight to the liver to be burned as fuel and cannot be stored as fat
  • Avoid antibiotics, steroid hormones and oral contraceptives, as they alter the gut bacteria, increasing risk of candida changing into an invasive form
  • Avoid antibiotics in food such as from animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations which are fed antibiotics to counteract bad sanitation and to boost growth. Ask for “grass fed” or “pasture raised” meat, and limit meat consumption (acidic) in favour of plant foods (alkaline)
  • Get more good sleep, more exercise and an alkaline, sugar-free diet, but never consume food or drink with aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, which destroy good gut bacteria. Stevia is a better natural choice and has anti-cancer properties
  • Treat the partners of infected patients, even if there are no symptoms, as they can also be carrying abnormally large amounts of Candida, potentially leading to constant cross-infections
  • Continue treatment until all symptoms have disappeared, plus a further 2 weeks, which destroys eggs laid by the previous generation

Drug Therapy

There are some prescription drugs which can help if all of the above fails and the condition is serious:

  • Nystatin, an antifungal, available as tablets or a powder, and fairly benign with few side effects.
  • Diflucan, an antibiotic if all else fails

LeanMachine Online Supplements: Health Supplements

Updated: 31st January 2020.   Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight – Lean Machine

Glaucoma

Written by Brenton Wight, Health Researcher, LeanMachine
Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight, LeanMachine
Updated 8th February 2020

Over 60 million people in the world have glaucoma, but only 30 million know they have it as there are no warning signs.
High intra-ocular pressure causes destruction of retinal ganglion cells, leading to vision loss.
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness and Glaucoma is second.
There is no cure for glaucoma. Treatments focus on reducing intra-ocular pressure, but this does not always prevent further degradation.
High risk groups:

  • Those over 60
  • Those with a family history
  • Diabetics
  • Those who are severely nearsighted
  • Those with light colored eyes. Grey or blue eyes have the highest risk, brown the least
  • Those with increased IOP (intra-ocular pressure)
  • Those with compromised blood flow to the optic nerve
  • Those living with air pollution

What is Glaucoma?

In wide angle glaucoma, the most common form, changes in the trabecular meshwork prevent the aqueous liquid from draining correctly, resulting in an increase in the pressure (inta-ocular pressure) inside the eye.
image trabecular meshwork
The trabecular meshwork is an area around the base of the cornea, responsible for draining the aqueous humor (the liquid in the eye).
The increase in pressure causes destruction of retinal ganglion cells that form part of the optic nerve, resulting in peripheral vision loss, i.e. less vision in the extreme left, right, high and low fields, while the central vision remains relatively intact until the progression of vision loss in the extremities slowly creeps toward the centre of vision.
As glaucoma is more common as we age, and AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is also more common as we age, and affects the central vision, we must look after the health of our eyes to retain as much vision as possible.
In my upcoming article on Macular eye disease, I will discuss the fact that Age-related Macular Degeneration has NOTHING to do with age, but many other factors such as taking aspirin, which increases the effect of blood leakage in the macular area of the retina, compounding the degeneration.
We must look at both conditions, as if we lose central as well as extremities vision, hope for retaining any eyesight is poor.

Cause of Glacoma

Doctors cannot explain why some people get glaucoma and others do not, even if their intra-ocular pressure is raised.
Mitochrondrial dysfunction appears to be the main cause, according to recent studies on glaucoma-prone mice, where glaucoma progression was halted by high doses of Niacin (Vitamin B3), or in particular, by NAD+ which is a derivative of B3. NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) exists in the body in two forms, the oxidized form NAD+ and reduced form NADH. As we age, we produce less and less NAD, which explains increasing risk for glaucoma as well as many other age-related conditions. Seniors have only half the mitochondria of young people.
The mouse studies used a very high dose of Vitamin B3, equivalent to a human taking 40 grams. A typical high-dose Niacin is low in cost and good insurance, improving cardiovascular health as well.
Even better is NADH which is more expensive, but many times more effective.
Also, mitochondrial function can be improved with PQQ, (Pyrroloquinoline Quinine).
A recent study on air pollution:
“The more polluted the air, the higher the risk is that those who live in that area will develop glaucoma”, claims a new study from the UK, published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Researchers found that when the amount of fine particulate matter (FPM, particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter, also called PM 2.5) was higher, the rate of self-reported glaucoma was increased by at least 6%, in contrast to the areas with the least air pollution.

If we ask our Optometrist if there is any food or supplement that can help ward off glaucoma, they will usually say “There is nothing you can do. Take your eye drops, and prepare for surgery.”
Yet, their own web site contains the study info:www.optometry.org.au/blog-news/2017/3/6/vitamin-could-stop-glaucoma/
Could it be that they do not want to lose patients? Why not advise everyone that a daily dose of Vitamin B3 has no side effects and may just stop us from going blind!

See studies below on NADH.

This is not surprising to LeanMachine. I have been advising people for years that most age and lifestyle diseases are caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Cancer research has all been about genetics, but it is the mitochondria that produces a chemical that produces apoptosis, the programmed cell death of an unhealthy cell. Without healthy mitochondria, we are at a higher risk for cancer, as we need the mitochondria to destroy sick cells before the cancer gets a foothold.
Mitochondria are the energy-producing organelles inside the cytoplasm of every living cell, producing ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which we need for everything we do.
As babies, each cell in our body has over 2,000 mitochondria, inherited only from our mother. Some cells requiring more energy have more mitochondria, like heart muscle cells, having around 5,000 mitochondria. At senior age, we only have a few hundred. Exercise increases mitochondria, there is a good reason to get off the couch.

Types of Glaucoma

  • Open Angle (chronic) Glaucoma – the most common type where aqueous fluid drains too slowly from aging of the drainage channel, causing pressure to build inside the eye. Younger people can also get this type. People do not notice vision changes at first because the sharpness of central vision is retained until late stages
  • Normal Tension Glaucoma – also called Low Tension or Normal Pressure Glaucoma. Not related to high pressure, but where the optic nerve is damaged even at normal pressure, or reduced blood supply to the optic nerve. Symptoms include migraine headaches, cold hands and feet, low blood pressure or other blood vessel problems. Those of Japanese descent have a higher risk
  • Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma – where the eye drainage becomes blocked, resulting in a sudden rise in pressure requiring emergency medical care. Symptoms can include blurred vision, severe headaches, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, rainbow-like halos seen around bright lights. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Higher risk for those of Asian or Native American descent
  • Angle Recession Glaucoma – Caused by trauma (injury) to the eye, which allows debris in the eye to gradually block drainage channels, raising the pressure. If treated early, vision can be saved
  • Primary Congenital Glaucoma – 1 in 10,000 babies are born with this hereditary condition. Family history with both parents increases likelihood, but often there is no family history on either side. If the first and second child have it, later children have very high risk. Boys have double the risk as girls. Sometimes affects one eye, but most often affects both. Untreated, this is a major cause of blindness in children. When treated before age 3, eyesight is normally saved. Symptoms include:
    1. Baby closes eyelids as if trying to protect the eye
    2. Baby seems overly sensitive to light
    3. Baby tears up more than normal
    It is imperative to check these warning signs in all infants
  • Secondary Glaucoma – Result of another eye condition such as inflammation, trauma, tumour, uveitis

Other Eye Disease

Many other conditions affect sight, and I will discuss these later in separate articles. Of course, it is quite possible to have more than one condition, so early diagnosis is essential so we are more likely to be dealing with the first condition without confusing treatment with two or more conditions.
Here are a few of the most common:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina, and is the most common cause of vision loss among diabetics.
  • Macular Degeneration affects blood vessels in the visual centre (Macula) of the eye. There are wet and dry types.
  • Cataracts where the lens gradually becomes opaque
  • CMV Retinitis an infection of the retina, often affecting thise with poor immunity or with AIDS
  • Diabetic Macular Oedema caused by fluid accumulation in the macula causing severe blurred vision
  • Retinal Detachment the retina separates from the nerve tissue and blood supply underneath it
  • Uveitis is inflammation of one or more of the uvea, the nerve tissue, and/or blood supply underneath. Common with Sarcoidosis

Diagnosis

Typical Eye ChartEveryone should get an annual eye check. In some people, an astute eye doctor can see by the shape of the eye if a person is at high risk, even before they have high pressure or symptoms.
Most people are first checked by an optometrist, and when a problem is found they are normally referred to an ophthalmologist.
The Standard Eye Test: First, after a quick eye chart test, with and without glasses, amblyopia (“lazy eye”) is tested by covering one eye and looking for movement in the other eye, also ocular motility testing to determine how well the eyes follow a moving object, and stereopsis or depth perception.
Then a refraction test checks the degree of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia to determine a prescription of any eye-glasses required.
Eye drops are then used to enlarge the pupils and allow better scrutiny of the inner eye.
Warning: These drops can last 4 to 6 hours, and when the patient ventures out into bright light, the pupils cannot respond immediately by reducing the pupil size, so glare and blurred vision can make driving or other activities dangerous, but everyone has a different reaction, and sun glasses are a must.
The doctor uses a “slit lamp” and checks the eyelids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, and lens. Conditions are checked for retinal detachment, dry eye, blocked tear ducts, drainage problems, cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal ulcers, diabetic retinopathy and other eye disease.
The retina is examined and usually retina photographs are taken for reference in future tests to check for any change.
Typical Retina Photograph
The glaucoma tests:
Eye stain drops are used to check drainage.
Eye pressure is tested using either:
1. NCT (non-contact tonometry) or “puff-of-air” test which measures pressure.
2. Yellow numbing drops are usually used which glow when exposed to blue light. An applanation tonometer then touches the eye surface to measure the intra-ocular pressure.
These procedures are painless, the only feeling may be the machine tickling the eyelashes. Results can vary between these methods and different calibration of instruments, so it is advised to go to the same practice every time, and ask which type of equipmemt is being used, and note the results. A statement such as “Your pressures are fine” is not enough. We need actual numbers so we can compare results over time, and take dietary and other steps to halt any rising pressures before having to resort to surgical treatment.
visual field test is used to determine the field of vision. The patient sits in front of a dished screen with one eye covered, and the other eye focused on a black dot in the centre. The patient then clicks a button when a light spot is repeatedly presented in different areas of peripheral vision.
Typical Field Test
The results are plotted on a graph for each eye which shows areas of lost vision such as the black areas in this plotted image of advanced glaucoma:
Typical Advanced Glaucoma Eye Plot
See actual improvement capable in Glaucoma patients near the bottom of this article.

Colour blindness is normally checked using the Ishihara Color Vision Test booklet, each page containing a circular pattern comprising many dots of various colors, brightness and sizes, making up a single digit number. The full test contains 38 fifferent pages, but a basic test will only involve 14 or 24 different pages. A colour-blind person will see no number, or a different number in this test. Any problems in colour blindness may indicate a health problem such as glaucoma, MS (multiple sclerosis), diabetic retinopathy, macular edema and other disorders, as well as color vision issues caused by long-term use of some prescription medications.
For colour-blind people, specially tinted glasses can improve the distinguishment and vividness of various colours as a vision aid.
The retina has cone photoreceptors, and the red and green cones are often most affected, causing “red-green colour blindness”.

Treatment

Medication helps by either reducing the production and inflow of aqueous fluid into the eye, or by increasing the outflow pathways to allow aqueous fluid to drain more effectively.
Sometimes oral medication is used, but is generally limited in effectiveness, and any improvement is lost in a short time.
Eye drops are usually the first line of treatment in newly diagnosed glaucoma.
Hint: When instilling eye drops, tilt the head backward. Use a finger placed just below the lower lid, pulling down to form a pocket. Look up and squeeze one drop into the pocket in your lower lid. Do not blink. Press on the inside corner of your closed eyes using the index finger and thumb for 2 or 3 minutes to prevent drops from draining into the throat. Wipe excess from the eye. Do not touch the tip of the bottle onto the eye or face. If hands shake, approach the eye from the side, resting the hand on the face to steady the bottle.
Commonly prescribed eye drops for glaucoma:
1. Prostaglandin analogs such as Xalatan® (latanoprost), Lumigan® (bimatoprost), Travatan Z® (Travoprost), and Zioptan™ (tafluprost) and Vyzulta™ (latanoprostene bunod) are typically used. They are used for increasing the outflow of eye fluid.
Side effects include stinging, burning, feeling as if something is in the eye, dry eyes, watering eyes, temporary unstable vision, dizziness, droopy eyelids, sunken eyes, change in the colour of the iris, eyelid, or white of the eye, vision changes, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), sensitivity to light and lengthening and curling of the eyelashes.
Often prescribed as Azarga (combination of brinzolamide and timolol) but can cause corneal erosion long-term as well as other side effects as above.

2. Beta-blockers such as Timolol (Timoptic XE, Istalol) and Betoptic S work by decreasing aqueous fluid production in the eye. Beta-blockers were once the first-line treatment of glaucoma, but just like Beta-blockers prescribed for blood pressure, have nasty side effects but are still sometimes prescribed in combination with prostaglandins.
Side effects include slowing of heart rate, heart problems, lung problems such as emphysema, diabetes, depression, stinging or discomfort of the eye, watery, dry, itchy or red eyes, blurred vision, feeling as if something is in the eye, crusting of eyelashes, headache, trouble sleeping or dizziness.

3. Alpha adrenergic agonists such as brimonidine tartrate (Alphagan®P), Iopidine®, Apraclonidine) work by decreasing production of aqueous fluid and increase drainage. Alphagan P includes a purite preservative, breaking down into natural components of tears, so may be better tolerated in those allergic to preservatives in other eye drops.
Side effects include fast or pounding heartbeats, persistent headache, eye pain, puffiness or swelling, extreme sensitivity to light, vision changes, itching, redness, burning, stinging, feeling like something is in the eye, blurred vision, redness of the eye or eyelid, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, muscle pain, dry nose or mouth, drowsiness, insomnia or unusual or unpleasant taste in the mouth.

4. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAI’s) such as dorzolamide (Trusopt®) and brinzolamide (Azopt®) eye drops, as well as pills acetazolamide (Diamox) and methazolamide (Neptazane®). They reduce eye pressure by lowering production of aqueous fluid.
Side effects include shortness of breath, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, blood in urine, difficult urination, depression, lower back pain, pain or burning while urinating, sudden decrease in amount of urine, bloody or black, tarry stools, clumsiness or unsteadiness, convulsions (seizures), darkening of urine, fever, hives, skin itching, skin rash, skin sores, pale stools, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), sore throat, trembling, unusual bruising or bleeding, yellow eyes or skin.

5. Rho-Kinase (ROCK) inhibitors such as netarsudil (Rhopressa®) increase drainage of intra-ocular fluid. Originally studied for anti-erectile dysfunction, anti-hypertension, and tumor metastasis inhibition, using the same pathway as statins (with potentially similar side effects). Recently approved by the FDA as a glaucoma drug, available in USA since April 2018.
Side effects include conjunctival hyperemia, cornea verticillata and small conjunctival hemorrhages. More side effects will probably be known as it becomes more widely used.

Various combinations of all of the above are available under many different brand names. All have side effects, but there must be a balance between saving sight and dealing with sometimes serious side effects.

Various forms of laser surgery and/or surgery to create a “bleb” or artificial drainage system are used to replace the trabecular meshwork, reducing intra-ocular pressure.
Doctors say that even with surgical intervention, there is no permanent cure, and surgical procedures at best only slow down the progression of the disease.

One way to prevent or delay glaucoma is to reduce blood pressure naturally by consuming a healthy diet and reducing any extra body fat.
Low blood pressure sometimes (but not always) relates to lower intra-ocular pressure.
The same things that cause high blood pressure – trans fats (margarine, canola oil etc), sugar and high GI carbohydrates, will often also cause high eye pressure.
Do NOT be taken in by statin drugs – designed to lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is NOT the evil it is made out to be, in fact we would die without it. Treating 100 people with statins may prevent one heart attack in one person. Changing to a healthy diet will prevent almost all of the 100 from heart attacks.

Glaucoma NO list

Bad fats
1. Margarine – do not be fooled by unscrupulous advertising from margarine manufacturers who claim that margarine reduces cholesterol. Maybe it does, but cholesterol is not our enemy, only OXIDISED Very Low LDL is bad, and that is the dangerous ingredient in margarine. Alternative: Coconut oil, butter, cold olive oil.
2. Canola oil – heat processed in the manufacture oxidises this fat. Cooking with canola oil oxidises the fat even more. NEVER use canola oil for anything.
Alternative: Coconut oil.
3. Sunflower Oil. Flaxseed oil is a much healthier alternative.
4. Hydrogenated oils of any kind. Common in many low-fat baked goods and other processed foods.

Bad drugs
1. Paracetamol, panadol, acetaminophen, tylenol – different names for the same drug marketed as “safe and effective” but it destroys L-Glutathione, the body’s own master antioxidant. Alternatives for pain:
(a) MSM – primarily for joint pain but helps reduce the sensation of any pain.
(b) Bacopa – primarily for slight blood thinning and higher brain function, but also helps with pain.
2. Statins – cholesterol lowering drugs that increase risk of diabetes, clobber our Vitamin D, cause muscle pain and kidney disease, and on average will slightly reduce risk of a heart attack but increase death risk from all other causes, so most people taking statins will not live one day longer, and have a poor quality of life.

Glaucoma Diet

Diet will not cure Glaucoma, but will reduce risk, slow degradation and delay surgery.
Natural methods aim to reduce IOP, increase blood flow to the eye, and lower oxidative stress, just like traditional drug methods.
We can lower glaucoma risk by eating more fresh vegetables and fruits containing Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Lutein, foods high in carotenoid antioxidants such as green leafy vegetables and other green or yellow vegetables. Cooked kale and cooked spinach are best, also egg yolks.
A study showed that women who ate 3 or more daily servings of fruits and fruit juices reduced glaucoma risk by 79% compared to those who consumed less than 1 serving per day.
Those people with high intake of vitamin C levels reduced risk by 70%, while high vitamin A reduced risk by 63%, and alpha-carotene by 54%.
However, not every vegetable or fruit works as well. These foods are proven to cut glaucoma risk:

  • Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Collard Greens
    The NIH study showed that 3 or more daily servings of general vegetables had little effect on glaucoma risk, but one serving of kale or collard greens per week reduced glaucoma risk by 57%, and a Harvard study suggested that the benefit is in the high nitrate levels, a precursor for nitric oxide which promotes health of blood vessels. This study (Nurses’ Health Study of 63,893 women, 1984-2012 and Health Professionals Follow-up Study 41,094 men, 1986-2012) found that high dietary leafy greens (= more nitrates) meant 20% to 30% reduction of glaucoma risk. For glaucoma linked to poor blood flow, nitrates reduced risk by 40% to 50%
  • Oranges and Peaches
    The NIH study found that women who consumed more than two servings per week of fresh oranges reduced their risk by 82% while peaches cut their risk by 70%. Whole fresh fruit was best. Juice only gave less benefit, even if they drank it every day. LeanMachine concludes this is due to heat and sugar processing of juice. Fresh peaches were protective, while canned peaches were not. LeanMachine concludes this is due to sugary syrups and heated processing for canned fruit
  • Wild-Caught Salmon
    A British study of glaucoma patients and their healthy siblings, glaucoma patients had lower levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic) fatty acids and total omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, suggesting that EPA and DHA could improve microcirculation, ocular blood flow and optic neuropathy, which are all associated with glaucoma. Other good sources of EPA and DHA include fatty cold-water fish, e.g. sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna
  • Healthy Fats
    Healthy fats are essential to change the body’s carbohydrate-fueled system into a fat-fueled system where ketones are the primary fuel.
    Best fats are coconut oil, avocados, walnuts, fish oil, krill oil, macadamia oil, butter. Cold-pressed virgin olive oil is healthy when cold (i.e. on a salad) but oxidises when heated
  • Green Tea, Cocoa, Red Wine
    Another study found that flavonoids improved vision and slowed progression of visual field loss in patients with glaucoma and high eye pressure. Read more about flavonoids in my Flavonoids article. Flavonoids are neuroprotective and antioxidant polyphenol compounds found in plants, highest in green tea, red wine and cocoa. LeanMachine says that Cocao (less processing) should be more beneficial than Cocoa
  • Black Currants
    A 24-month trial showed that black currant anthocyanins slowed the visual field deterioration, probably because the black currants improve blood flow in the eye
  • Goji Berries
    An animal study of the goji plant Lycium barbarum L. found it prevented the loss of retinal ganglion cells and neurodegeneration. Benefits found were independent of eye pressure. Animals fed a goji extract nearly totally escaped from pressure-induced loss of retinal ganglion cells. LeanMachine suggests that other high antioxidant foods such as blueberries may also have beneficial effects
  • Eggplant
    In a study of male volunteers, they ate 10 grams of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) and showed a 25% reduction of intra-ocular pressure, suggesting that eggplant would be beneficial to glaucoma patients

Cooking Methods

Heating food over around 50 degrees Celcius (about the temperature of hot water at the kitchen sink) destroys most of the beneficial enzymes, so salads, fruit or other cold foods should be consumed at at least one meal every day. An organic apple a day definitely keeps the eye doctor away…
When cooking, the safest way is steaming (100 degrees Centigrade). Other cooking methods heat food well over the safety limit of 120 degrees Centigrade. Over 120 degrees, AGEs form (Advanced Glycation End-products) which damage the mitochondria and many other body systems.

Supplements for Glaucoma

While healthy foods will help delay glaucoma, as well as reducing risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, obesity and more, there is often not enough healthy content available due to intensive farming practices, combined with chemical additives in the soil, to give the glaucoma patient enough of the correct nutrition.
Lean Machine recommends a combination of a healthy diet, supplements and sun exposure for optimum nutrition.
Oxidative stress is a major factor in progression of glaucoma, so antioxidants are important.
Various vitamins and minerals have been proven to reduce glaucoma symptoms, but eye doctors seldom pass on this information.
Supplements do not make up for a bad diet. Supplements often only supply a single important extract, but whole, natural foods contain fibre, enzymes and many other important compounds, so LeanMachine recommends a combination of both.
The following are the main supplements LeanMachine recommends for glaucoma patients:

In addition, foods improving mitochondria are:
1. Proteins such as fish, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs that support glutathione and other amino acids which protect the mitochondria.
2. Antioxidants – colourful vegetables, fresh fruit, herbs, spices. Best spices are cloves and turmeric.

Supplements for Glutathione include:

Glaucoma can get better

Mrs LeanMachine was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Glaucoma at age 48, which is much younger than most, and blindness often follows in 5 to 10 years. However, due to a reasonably healthy lifestyle, degradation was slow, but consistent.
Right Eye scan. Black areas represent loss of vision, grey represent partial loss.

Right eye scan, January 2014
Right Scan January 2014, age 68 Right Scan January 2020, age 74

Her Opthalmologist has never seen improvement, especially this much improvement in any Glaucoma patient.
The main change in the last few years has been an array of Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients, and a healthy diet, free from all hydrogenated oils and bad fats (e.g. Margarine, Canola Oil).
Another victory for LeanMachine! In addition, Mrs LeanMachine is now free from diabetes, blood pressure, never gets a cold or flu, has no prescription medication, no eye drops, no vaccinations. In fact, the biggest improvement was seen since she stopped taking the prescribed eye drops (because of side effects).

NADH Studies
Declining NAD+ Induces a Pseudohypoxic State Disrupting Nuclear-Mitochondrial Communication during Aging (2013) – http://jmp.sh/s1CKUez – this article (more technical/scientific) was the catalyst for the NAD+ research momentum which presently exists

NAD – Long-Term Administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide Mitigates Age-Associated Physiological Decline in Mice (2016) http://jmp.sh/6GZMwPq – the infographic on the cover page pretty much sums up the effects in humans too

NAD – Short-term administration of Nicotinamide Mononucleotide preserves cardiac mitochondrial homeostasis and prevents heart failure (2017) http://jmp.sh/yHKH355

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide supplementation reverses vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress with aging in mice (2016) http://jmp.sh/B4OET23

NAD+ repletion improves mitochondrial and stem cell function and enhances life span in mice (2016) http://jmp.sh/IlxzSUx

NAD – Loss of NAD Homeostasis Leads to Progressive and Reversible Degeneration of Skeletal Muscle (2016) http://jmp.sh/XjlgLOV

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide improves energy activity and survival rate in an in vitro model of Parkinson’s disease (2014) http://jmp.sh/gnAHrz3

NAD – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, a Key NAD+ Intermediate, Treats the Pathophysiology of Diet- and Age-Induced Diabetes in Mice (2011) http://jmp.sh/UlRkYGD

NAD+ in aging, metabolism, and neurodegeneration (2015) http://jmp.sh/pkSKzz3

NAD – Exogenous NAD+ administration significantly protects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat model (2016) http://jmp.sh/ufBDDWA

NAD – Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Neuron Death by Intranasal Delivery of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (2012) http://jmp.sh/iGqzbgo

NAD+ controls neural stem cell fate in the aging brain (2014) http://jmp.sh/tlIvnhg

NAD+ Deficiency in Age-Related Mitochondrial Dysfunction (2014) http://jmp.sh/DGwKD45

NAD – The NAD+ Precursor Nicotinamide Riboside Enhances Oxidative Metabolism and Protects against High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity (2012) http://jmp.sh/vTHsM1r

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide inhibits post-ischemic NAD+ degradation and dramatically ameliorates brain damage following global cerebral ischemia (2016) http://jmp.sh/iqJczKC

NAD – Effect of nicotinamide mononucleotide on brain mitochondrial respiratory deficits in an Alzheimer’s disease-relevant murine model (2015) http://jmp.sh/8oIdCfo

NAD – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an Intermediate of NAD+ Synthesis, Protects the Heart from Ischemia and Reperfusion (2014) http://jmp.sh/WwBFWdR

NAD – Restoration of Mitochondrial NAD+ Levels Delays Stem Cell Senescence and Facilitates Reprogramming of Aged Somatic Cells (2016) http://jmp.sh/L3dXEm1

NAD – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, an NAD+ Precursor, Rescues Age-Associated Susceptibility to Acute Kidney Injury [was ‘AKI’] in a Sirtuin 1–Dependent Manner (2017) http://jmp.sh/cWda60C

NAD – NAD replenishment with nicotinamide mononucleotide protects blood–brain barrier integrity and attenuates delayed tissue plasminogen activator-induced haemorrhagic transformation after cerebral ischaemia (2017) http://jmp.sh/mkmiXxP

NAD – Nicotinamide mononucleotide inhibits JNK activation to reverse Alzheimer disease [2017] http://jmp.sh/GhDCkte

LeanMachine Health Supplements

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies.

Updated 29th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

All About Ginkgo Biloba: Benefits of This Timeless Herbal Supplement


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/vitamins-supplements/ginkgo-biloba.aspx

Ginkgo biloba leaves

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Known as one of the oldest trees on the planet, ginkgo biloba has been long revered for its many medicinal uses
  • Get to know more about ginkgo biloba – how it works, what’s the best way to take it and other health considerations before using this supplement

The ginkgo biloba tree is known for its resilience and hardiness, and for good reason – it is the oldest living tree species known to man. It’s said that a ginkgo tree can live for as long as 1,000 years, with heights reaching up to 120 feet.1 Thus, it should come as no surprise that this plant can have healing benefits, too.

Today, ginkgo biloba ranks as one of the top-selling herbal remedies,2 with a long history of medicinal use for various illnesses and health problems. Get to know more about ginkgo biloba – how it works, what’s the best way to take it and other health considerations before using this supplement.

What Is Ginkgo Biloba?

Also known as the maidenhair tree, ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest trees on Earth, having said to have been in existence for 350 million years.3 In fact, it’s often referred to as a “living fossil,” as it has continued to thrive even after major extinction events.4

The ginkgo biloba tree is the only surviving species from the Ginkgoaceae family.5 The name is said to come from the Japanese words “gin” and “kyo,” which means “silver” and “apricot” respectively, which refers to the ginkgo fruit’s resemblance to apricots.6

Ginkgo biloba is native to Asia, particularly in China, Korea and Japan. In fact, some ginkgo trees in China are said to be 2,500 years old.7 This plant is also believed to have thrived in Europe and North America during ancient times, but after the Ice Age, all the wild ginkgo trees in these areas were destroyed.8

The ginkgo tree is known for being tough and hardy – it can even thrive in polluted environments, such as urban roadsides and large modern cities.9 The plant has short branches and fan-shaped leaves, which change colors during fall.

However, ginkgo fruits are inedible, emit an unpleasant scent (reminiscent of rancid butter10) and have inner seeds that may be poisonous.11 Today, organic ginkgo biloba supplements are widely available, and is sold either in liquid extract, capsule or tablet form. The extract is made from the dried leaves of the plant.12

Ginkgo Biloba’s Uses for the Body: Its Mechanism of Action

Although it has been popularly utilized in Chinese medicine for more than 5,000 years, it is only recently that researchers are uncovering what components account for ginkgo biloba’s many uses and benefits. According to the book “Prescription for Herbal Healing,” written by Phyllis A. Bach:13

“Ginkgo increases the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that is the main source of energy at the cellular level. This activity has been shown to boost the brain’s metabolism of glucose for energy and to increase its electrical activity.”

Particularly impressive are the flavonoids in ginkgo, called ginkgolides, which are said to have an effect on even the smallest microcapillaries, leading to widespread benefits on all of the body’s organs, especially the brain.14 Ginkgo biloba is also known for its antioxidant abilities, brought on by ginkgolides as well, and is said to prevent platelet aggregation inside arterial walls to keep plaque from forming.15

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Take a Look at Some of Ginkgo Biloba’s Health Benefits

So what exactly is ginkgo biloba good for? According to research, taking ginkgo biloba supplement may help improve:

Memory and thinking — Some research suggests that ginkgo may offer improvements in memory, speed of thinking and attention among healthy adults.16 In fact, it is touted as a “brain herb” that may have potential benefits for people suffering from dementia.17

Eye health — Ginkgo may help prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma by deactivating the platelet-activating factor (PAF), which is necessary for growth of new capillaries, and increasing circulation within the eye, supplying more oxygen to the retina.18 One small study found that people with glaucoma had improvements to their vision after taking 120 milligrams of ginkgo daily for eight weeks.19

Reproductive health and sexual function — One of ginkgo biloba’s benefits for men is its potential for helping treat impotence. It enhances nitric oxide’s effects, allowing more blood to flow into the penis to help maintain erection during sexual intercourse.20

Anxiety — According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, people with generalized anxiety disorder experienced better anxiety relief after taking ginkgo biloba, compared to those who took a placebo.21

Raynaud’s syndrome — This is an illness that triggers episodes of numbness and cold due to a decrease in the blood supply to the fingers and toes (earlobes, lips and nose may also be affected), triggered by stress or cold temperatures.22 A study said that ginkgo biloba may reduce the number of episodes in patients who have this illness.23

Skin and hair health — The rich antioxidant content of ginkgo biloba can help eliminate free radicals that can cause wrinkles and other signs of aging. Extracts of this herb are also used in hair care products to keep your tresses strong, long and shiny.24

Ginkgo Biloba Studies Claim It May Benefit Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

There have been numerous research conducted on the effectiveness of ginkgo biloba for certain health conditions, and one of the most widely studied claims is its potential effects for degenerative illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to WebMD, this herb may halt the progression of dementia symptoms, especially if the condition is brought on by atherosclerotic vascular disease.25

Initially, ginkgo was thought to improve blood flow going to the brain, but recent findings reveal that this herb may actually give protective effects to nerve cells against Alzheimer’s as well.26 One study, for example, found that EGb 761, a ginkgo biloba extract, may be clinically effective in treating Alzheimer’s dementia.27

Another research supported this claim, saying that the extract was safe to use and may help stabilize and improve cognitive and social functioning of dementia patients for between 6 to 12 months.28 However, there’s still conflicting evidence on whether it can have the same cognitive effects on healthy adults.

Ginkgo Biloba May Have Side Effects

There are individuals who reported having mild upset stomach and mild headaches that last a day or two after taking ginkgo biloba. Some who took large doses experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and dizziness. Finnish physicians also reported that their patients experienced orthostatic hypotension, a sudden loss of blood pressure when standing up, after using ginkgo for several days.29

In addition, the leaves of this herb contain long-chain alkylphenols, which have allergenic properties. If you are allergic to poison ivy and other plants with alkylphenols, do not take ginkgo.30

Take Note: Listen to Your Body When Using Ginkgo Biloba

As with any supplement, it is important that you listen to your body when using ginkgo biloba. It may offer potential benefits, but if your body is exhibiting unpleasant symptoms while using this supplement, then you may be better avoiding it or finding another alternative. Seek your physician’s advice should any of the symptoms above occur.

An Avocado a Day Boosts Your Brain

© 27th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/avocado-day-boosts-your-brain

LeanMachine Note: Lutein with Zeaxanthin is available as a supplement.

Coca-Cola’s Plastic Secrets


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/16/coca-cola-plastic-pollution-documentary.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
November 16, 2019

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • “The Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke,” a documentary by the German public broadcaster DW, reveals Coca-Cola’s untruths about what it is doing about plastic pollution
  • Coca-Cola sells 120 billion plastic bottles a year
  • Coca-Cola partnered with Keep America Beautiful to appear to be environmentally conscientious
  • Coca-Cola changed from returnable glass bottles to single-use plastic bottles to boost its profits
  • While feigning concern about plastic pollution, Coca-Cola lobbyists secretly fight recycling laws

What do the soft drink brands Sprite, Fanta and Dasani all have in common? They are all owned by The Coca-Cola Co., the soft drink monolith that makes 500 different brands amounting to nearly 4,000 drink choices.1

Coca-Cola’s top brands, including Coke and Diet Coke, generate more than $1 billion a year in sales. But as those of us who are environmentally conscious know, they also generate much of the world’s plastic pollution.

A riveting 2019 documentary by the German public broadcaster DW, “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke,” exposes how Coca-Cola deceives customers and environmentalists about its plastic pollution.2

Last year, James Quincey, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., announced a “World Without Waste” campaign to “collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030.”3

While the PR spin sounds believable, the DW documentary depicts Coca-Cola’s glib nonchalance about actually reaching its stated antipollution goals, the origins of its profit-oriented plastic bottle push and how its plastic pollution is a blight on poorer countries in particular.

Coca-Cola’s Cagey Switch to Plastic Bottles

Younger people may not remember but as late as the early 1980s, in some locations in the U.S., Coke was not sold in the plastic, single-use polluting bottle we see today. It was sold in glass bottles for which the customer paid a deposit and which the customer had to return.

I can personally remember seeing people washing out their used glass Coke bottles and returning them, usually in a six-bottle cardboard holder, to the store where they were bought for a new “six pack.” When you think about it, the deposit/return Coke bottles were the essence of recycling. But not for long.

By 1975, Coca-Cola was already running TV ads extolling the virtues of the single-use plastic Coke bottle which was “so light” compared with the old, soon-to-be-outdated glass bottle and presumably more pleasing to the consumer. Soon “no deposit/no return” Coke soft drinks were the norm with no thought or plan of how to deal with their mass disposal.

Plastic Bottles Made Coca-Cola More Money

Why did Coca-Cola switch to plastic? The answer should surprise no one. Returnable bottles forced Coca-Cola to “internalize their pollution costs” says Bart J. Elmore, author of Citizen Coke, who is interviewed in the documentary. Plastic bottles allowed, and continue to allow, outsourcing of the problem and the costs to consumers and taxpayers. The public pays for the plastic pollution.

Arsen Darnay, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee who was the first engineer in the world to investigate the ecological impact of Coca-Cola bottles, was also interviewed in “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke.”

Darnay was one of two principal researchers working for Midwest Research Institute, a group hired by Coca-Cola in the spring of 19704 to look at how glass bottles affected the environment, compared to metal and plastic containers.

Recounting how he discovered that “returnable glass pollutes significantly less” than plastic, Darnay said, “We put this together for them, and they didn’t publish it … They were not interested in having the public see the total picture.” Then, he said, he “watched them slowly introduce the plastic bottles.”

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Shifting the Blame for Plastic Pollution Onto Consumers

From launching the more profitable single-use plastic bottles to its call for more consumer involvement with pollution, Coca-Cola has continually and successfully shifted the problem of its plastic pollution onto consumers, says Elmore.

Back in the 1970s, when its switch to plastic bottles began, Coke partnered with Keep America Beautiful, to position itself on the side of environmentalism and subtly imply that litter, and especially plastic litter, was somehow the consumer’s fault and problem, Elmore adds. Few realize Coca-Cola was behind the Keep America Beautiful campaign.

“Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke” shows an old Keep America Beautiful TV ad that shamelessly uses a Native American man, belonging to a demographic associated with environmental purity, to plead for the public not to pollute.

Nowhere in the ad is there mention of the industrial producers like Coca-Cola that contribute to such pollution. It is all the consumers’ fault, the PR campaign and continual campaigns imply.

PR Document Exposes Coca-Cola Lobbying Hypocrisy

From a PR standpoint, Coca-Cola wants to appear conscientious and environmentally responsible. For example, this is what CEO James Quincey wrote in his 2018 op-ed titled “Why a World Without Waste Is Possible:”5

“Consumers around the world care about our planet. They want and expect companies like ours to be leaders and help make a litter-free world possible… Through our ‘World Without Waste’ vision, we are investing in our planet and in in our packaging to help make the world’s packaging problem a thing of the past.”

Yet, the reporters contributing to “Plastic Tide” unearthed some embarrassing documents that show a very different side to Coca-Cola. The documents, from Coke’s lobbyist in Brussels, recommend the company strongly fight recycling legislation as well as restrictions on advertising to children and caffeine in their drinks.

When confronted with the lobbyist recommendations in the documentary, Michael Goltzman, Coca-Cola’s vice president for social impact and global policy, disavows the stated goals and says they are no longer Coke’s “strategy.”

Though the report is only 2 years old when Goltzman dismisses it, he could not name when the strategy was changed or point to any updated documents when the interviewer asked. He admits Coca-Cola is still using the same lobbyist.

Tanzania Is a Casualty of Coca-Cola’s Plastic Pollution

The African country of Tanzania is supposed to be one of the most beautiful and pristine locations in the world. But “Plastic Tide” shows how plastic pollution has impacted and seemingly altered forever the country’s economy and natural beauty. As in the U.S., Coca-Cola replaced glass bottles with single-use plastic in Tanzania.

The documentary includes an interview with a foreman at a Coca-Cola bottling warehouse who directs the distribution of what looks like millions of single-use plastic bottles to be sold. He assures the “Plastic Tide” interviewers that the bottles are what consumers want and present no problems. “It’s all good,” he says.

Then viewers see a 50-year-old woman scavenging for plastic along plastic-strewn areas in Tanzania, adding each discarded piece to a huge bag she is carrying to contain them. We are told she does this every day to feed her family and earns about 2 Euros a day for her effort.

There is little money in collecting plastic anymore, she tells the interviewer; the market for plastic has really fallen off. The impoverished woman living on pennies from plastic waste is no doubt referring to the world wide implications of China refusing, in 2017, to accept any more of the world’s plastic waste.6 Having no place to sell plastic waste for recycling has affected poor and rich countries alike.

No Recycling System in Place, Admits Coca-Cola Official

When a documentary representative shows him photos from plastic-polluted Tanzania, Goltzman again has no clear answers. “I don’t like looking at those clips,” he admits, but adds that he is not aware of any systems for addressing Coke’s plastic pollution in Tanzania. He’s not even aware of why such a system is not in place. He sounds baffled. “We don’t see a world without plastic,” he admits at the same time he tries to assure that Coke has a plan in place, but not yet implemented.

Nor was Goltzman able to answer why a commitment in a Coca-Cola document in 2008 to have all Coke bottled beverages contain 25% recycled plastic by 2015 was not met.

Further chipping away at the credibility of the soft drink giant, Helene Bourges of Greenpeace says in “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke” that despite the company’s claim that 12% of their product is made from recycled plastic, only 7% actually is. Clearly, Coca-Cola, which sells 120 billion plastic bottles a year, according to the documentary, is playing fast and loose with the truth.

Plastic Is a Threat to Life Everywhere

Plastic pollution is pervasive, infiltrating water and food supplies and adversely affecting the environment, on which humanity depends for food, water and natural resources, and the solution to this problem cannot be placed solely on consumers “doing the right thing” with the plastic products they buy. Clearly, companies like Coca-Cola need to face the facts as well — and at bare minimum live up to its own promises.

Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Researchers estimate a single plastic coffee pod may take up to 500 years, the duration of the Roman Empire.7 While the impact of plastic tends to be focused on manufacturing and/or disposal, a report by the Center for International Environmental Law, in partnership with six other environmental organizations, finds:8

“… that each of those stages interacts with others, and all of them interact with the human environment and the human body in multiple, often intersecting, ways.”

The report associates plastics with numerous forms of cancer, neurological, reproductive and developmental toxicities, as well as diabetes, organ malfunctions and a significant impact on eyes and skin. Although it appears plastic is cheap and convenient, Graham Forbes, global plastics project leader for Greenpeace, points out that the true cost is reflected in how:9

“Plastics are harming or killing animals around the globe, contributing to climate change and keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, entering our air, water, and food supplies, and seriously jeopardizing human health throughout their lifecycle.”

Recycling Is Vastly Underutilized

Only 8% of plastic is ever recycled,10 and even then, some of the items tossed in the recycling bin may never make it to the recycling center. Some end up contaminating entire loads of recyclables that would otherwise have gone on to other uses.

While it’s best to verify guidelines for your local facility, anything smaller than a Post-it note cannot be sorted properly, so unless you screw on bottle tops it’s better to throw them away. Bubble padded envelopes, wax paper and diapers are not recyclable.

Paper cups with shiny coatings or paper food bowls with plastic lining will not be accepted. For ways to become a recycling expert, see my previous article, “Top 11 Tips to Become an Expert at Recycling.”

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Use

Still, while improved recycling is part of the answer, it’s unlikely to be enough. The use of plastic needs to be reduced at the front end as well. Companies like Coca-Cola would do well to return to glass bottles, for example, rather than insisting on plastic bottles.

Even if all glass is not recycled, it’s an inert substance that is not going to poison the earth for centuries to come. Aside from urging Coke and other beverage makers to use glass bottles, and avoiding beverages sold in plastic, you can also have a positive impact on plastic pollution by:

Using reusable shopping bags for groceries and reusable produce bags for fresh produce
Taking your own leftovers container to restaurants
Bringing your own mug for coffee, and bringing drinking water from home in glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water
Requesting no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning
Avoiding disposable utensils and straws
Opting for nondisposable razors, washable feminine hygiene products for women, cloth diapers, handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues, rags in lieu of paper towels and infant toys made of wood rather than plastic
Avoiding processed foods (which are stored in plastic bags with chemicals). Buy fresh produce instead, and forgo the plastic bags
Sources and References

7 Foods and Nutrients Proven to Cut Macular Degeneration Risk

© 20th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/7-foods-and-nutrients-proven-cut-macular-degeneration-risk

Posted on:  Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 4:15 pm

As the baby-boomers age, blindness from age-related macular degeneration is on the rise. More than 3 million more people will become victims in the next five years. Eating right can lower your risk

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among people 50 and older. It affects more than 1.75 million people in the U.S. and is expected to strike as many as 3 million in the next five years.

The macula is the small spot near the center of the retina. The eye needs it for central vision to see objects straight ahead. When the macula becomes damaged, it severely limits your ability to see things in your central line of vision.

As AMD progresses, a blurred area develops near the center of your vision. Objects may not appear as sharp or bright as they used to. Colors seem faded. That loss of central vision can interfere with daily activities like recognizing faces, reading, driving, working, cooking, or watching TV.

Besides age, the biggest risk factor for AMD is smoking. Other risk factors include sun exposure, high blood pressure and obesity.

Studies have found certain nutrients protect against the progression of AMD. Researchers at the National Eye Institute conducted two Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2).[i]

The first AREDS study showed that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper reduce the risk of late-stage AMD by 25%.

The AREDS2 study found that a combination of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in place of beta-carotene was just as effective. [ii] Carotenoids were also believed to be safer than beta-carotene for smokers at higher risk of lung cancer.

The AREDS2 nutrient combination is widely available in supplement form. But in addition to those nutrients studies show other foods and compounds are effective to reduce the risk and progression of AMD and improve vision.

Multiple studies show that supplementing with carotenoids and antioxidants improves AMD. In one randomized, double-blind placebo controlled study from a Veterans Administration Hospital 90 patients were assigned to receive 10 mg of lutein alone, or 10 mg of lutein plus a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, or a placebo. After 12 months they found that either alone or in combination with other nutrients, lutein improved visual function.

But it’s not just supplements. Eating more foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin reduces AMD risk. In a prospective cohort study published in JAMA, Harvard researchers followed more than 100,000 people from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in the United States. Based on diet reports the researchers found that those eating the most foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40 percent reduction in AMD risk compared to those eating the least. Other carotenoids including beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene, were linked with a 25 to 35 percent lower risk.

Here are seven foods and nutrients proven to support eye health and reduce your risk of AMD.

1. Olive Oil

In an Australian study of 6,734 people aged 58 to 69 years, researchers collected dietary information over five years. Ten years later they measured the participants’ macula for signs of early or late AMD. They found that eating 100 ml of olive oil every week cut AMD rates by 52 percent compared to lower olive oil intakes. That’s just about seven tablespoons, or less than a half cup of olive oil a week.

2. Goji Berries

Swiss researchers found that goji berries may reduce the risk of AMD. They conducted a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 150 people aged 65 to 70 years. Half the subjects received 13.7 grams per day of a milk-based formulation containing goji berry – also called wolfberry – or a placebo for 90 days. Goji berries are high in antioxidants and zeaxanthin.

The subjects were tested for blood levels of zeaxanthin and antioxidants. They were also examined for the appearance of drusen in the macula. Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina. They are made up of lipids, a fatty protein, and their presence indicates an increased risk of AMD. In the study, drusen increased in the placebo group but remained stable in the goji berry group.

In addition, zeaxanthin blood levels increased by 26 percent in the goji group and antioxidant capacity increased 57 percent. Those measures did not change in the placebo group.

3. Rosemary

A study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found rosemary may protect against macular degeneration. Researchers discovered that carnosic acid, a component of rosemary, protects your retina from degeneration and toxicity. They treated retinal cells with carnosic acid found in rosemary and found it triggered the production of antioxidant enzymes in the cells. That in turn lowered cell-damaging free radicals. They also tested carnosic acid in animals, finding that mice treated with it suffered less vision damage when exposed to light.

4. Saffron

Australian and Italian researchers proved the Mediterranean spice saffron helps slow progression of AMD and improve vision. They conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of people with early stage AMD. One group in the study supplemented with 20 mg per day of saffron. After just 90 days the researchers saw significant improvement in the saffron group.[iii]

Then the researchers tested a group of 29 patients aged 55 to 85 with early-stage AMD. The patients received 20 mg per day of saffron as a supplement for about 14 months. All of the patients reported an improvement in their quality of vision. They experienced improvements in contrast and color perception, reading ability, and vision in low lighting. All of that added up to a substantial improvement in the patients’ quality of life.[iv]

The researchers noted that saffron from the crocus flower contains chemical compounds called crocin and crocetin. These are antioxidant derivatives of carotenoids. Crocin protects photoreceptors from light-induced death. Crocetin increases the availability of oxygen to the cells.

5. Ginkgo Biloba

French researchers tested ginkgo biloba against a placebo on 10 out-patients with senile macular degeneration. In spite of the small group, the researchers concluded that ginkgo biloba extract led to a statistically significant improvement in long distance visual acuity.

6. B Vitamins

A Harvard study found that daily supplementation with B vitamins may reduce the risk of AMD. Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 5,442 female health care professionals 40 years or older. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a daily combination of 2.5 mg of folic acid (vitamin B9), 50 mg of pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), and 1 mg of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), or placebo. After an average of 7.3 years of treatment and follow-up, the vitamin B group had a 34 percent lower risk of AMD. For visually significant AMD the risk dropped 41 percent. The researchers indicated that B vitamins may reduce high homocysteine levels which have been linked to AMD.

7. Egg Yolks

Studies show that egg yolks have the highest percentage levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.[v] Other sources containing both of these carotenoids are corn and honeydew melon, as well as dark leafy greens such as kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and romaine lettuce.

Foods highest in just lutein include kiwi, red seedless grapes, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, cucumber, spinach, peas, green peppers, butternut squash, celery, Brussels sprouts, scallions, and broccoli.

Other foods high in zeaxanthin include orange peppers, oranges, and mango.

For more information visit GreenMed Info’s page on macular degeneration.

Originally published: 2016-04-14

Article Updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, “A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8,” Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 119, pp. 1417-1436, 2001.

[ii] The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group. Lutein + Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2013;309(19):2005-2015. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4997.

[iii] Benedetto Falsini et al, “Influence of saffron supplementation on retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-related macular degeneration.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(12):6118-24. Epub 2010 Aug 4. PMID: 20688744

[iv] M. Piccardi et al, “A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Saffron Supplementation in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Sustained Benefits to Central Retinal Function.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 429124, 9 pages https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/429124

[v] O. Sommerburg, J. Keunen, A. Bird, and F. J G M van Kuijk. “Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes.” 1998 Aug; 82(8): 907-910.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.