Health & Nurturing
Pg 7 - The Sunshine Express
2012 August
Enhancing Your Vision From The Inside
(ARA) - As we age, the quality of our vision can change, and for most of us that
entails wearing glasses, contacts or maybe even undergoing surgical proce-
dures. But did you know that your vision can improve through nutrition and
The back of the eye contains a film called macular pigment. This film is made
up of two pigments: zeaxanthin (zee-uh-zan-thin) and lutein (loo-teen). These
macular pigments function like "internal sunglasses" that protect and enhance
vision. The beautiful thing about internal sunglasses is that you can build them by
"There is no alternative medicine. There is only
eating a lot of the right fruits and vegetables or by supplementing your diet with eye
medicine that works and medicine that doesn't."
- Richard Dawkins
Thicker macular pigment offers protection of the photoreceptors that are responsible
for vision. Remember in science class when you learned about rods and cones? Rods
are responsible for peripheral vision, and cones are responsible for central vision.
Unfortunately, harmful blue light comprises visible light waves that can damage these
photoreceptors in the back of the eye, as opposed to the ultra-violet (UV) range of the
light spectrum, which can affect the cornea, or the front of the eye. And even though
the eye contains millions of rods and cones, they don't replenish themselves once they
die. So, by being proactive about healthy vision, you protect what you already have.
Dense macular pigment can also improve your vision - from driving a car to read-
ing to playing tennis. Science supports that higher amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein
can improve the ability to see fine details, decrease sensitivity to bright light, increase
recovery time from glare and enhance contrast sensitivity - the ability to see objects
that may not be outlined or stand out clearly from the background. Contrast sensitiv-
ity declines with age - this important function helps people clearly recognize steps and
other obstacles. Improving this condition alone becomes very important as one-third
to one-half of the elder population falls at least once per year, and the risk of falling
increases with age.
Baby boomers are aging at a rapid pace, but the way they are aging is unprecedented.
Older Americans are working longer, staying more
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active, engaging in more hobbies and interests
and value their independence like no generation
before them. So, if you have difficulty adjusting to
bright light, reading in dim light or driving a car at
The Medicine Cabinet
night, increasing your macular pigment or internal
sunglasses might be just what the doctor ordered -
Colorado Medical Marijuana Update
The number of patients in Colorado with valid
Eight milligrams of dietary zeaxanthin per day im-
medical marijuana cards hit 98,910 in May, a 2%
proved vision in 60 veterans with early Age-related
increase from April and the sixth consecutive
Macular Degeneration (AMD), according to Stuart
monthly increase.
Richer, a doctor of optometry and leading expert on
That's good news for cannabis dispensaries,
nutrition and eye health, who recently published
infused product manufacturers and other medical
the results in the Zeaxanthin and Visual Function
marijuana businesses, which have a bigger market
(ZVF) Trial, and follow-up clinical paper, "Macu-
to tap than they did earlier this year.
lar Re-pigmentation Enhances Driving Vision in
The latest data from the Colorado Department
Elderly Adult Males with Macular Degeneration."
of Public Health and Environment indicates that
These patients experienced an 8.5 letter improve-
interest in medical cannabis cards is recovering
ment on an eye chart, improved ability to discern
from a steep drop during the second half of 2011,
between shapes, blind spots were eliminated and a
when new regulations spooked patients and tens
significant percentage experienced improved driv-
of thousands of residents failed to renew their
ing vision.
cards. Many patients also delayed renewing until
While lutein is readily available in many fruits and
January, when the state cut the annual fee to $35
vegetables, zeaxanthin is much more difficult to
from $90.
obtain in the average U.S. daily diet. Zeaxanthin is
While the totals have been increasing, the growth
found at a natural two-to-one ratio to lutein in the
is slowing and seems on the verge of leveling off.
center of the macula (the fovea) where the cones
The total number of MMJ centers in the state is
responsible for central vision are located.
roughly 650 centers and more than 900 physicians
Zeaxanthin and lutein make up your macular
have recommended medical marijuana to patients
pigment, so give your eyes what they need most
in the state.
through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables includ-
Did you know?
ing spinach, kale, corn and peppers. If you cannot
Did you know that marijuana's documented his-
consume enough fruits and vegetables, consider tak-
tory as a medicine dates back to 2900 BC?
ing an all natural supplement containing high levels
of dietary zeaxanthin and lutein, like those found in
the EyePromise brand of nutraceuticals.