Your Eye Health Reflects the Health of Your Liver
Does it surprise you to know that the health of the liver has a direct effect upon eye health? Many people struggle with poor vision, macular degeneration, and other eye problems.
Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and nutritional deficiencies all affect the health of your eyes just as they affect the health of your liver.
We have been told throughout our lives that a decline in eyesight is an unavoidable part of the aging process, so we assume it's true. It is important to realize that those with liver damage are even more vulnerable to waning eye health than those with a fully functioning liver.
While some individuals are certainly more susceptible to eye problems than others, there are some approaches that can strengthen and possibly even restore eye health and improve liver health at the same time.
Recognizing this link between the eyes and the liver, people concerned with their liver’s health, and who want to preserve their sight, can accomplish both by incorporating some of the diet and supplement suggestions on this page into their daily lifestyle.
Supplementation to Improve the Eyes
Supportive to both eye health and liver health are antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. A few supplements to consider for improved eye health are:
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These are both found in large quantities in the lens and retina of the eyes. They protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals, which can interact with and break down healthy tissue. In addition, lutein and zeaxanthin help protect the eyes by filtering high-energy blue light.
Supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin has demonstrated the ability to prevent macular degeneration.
- Bilberry: Bilberries possess a high content of anthocyanins, which provides potent antioxidant activity. It has been confirmed that bilberry does improve visual acuity in healthy individuals, as well as improve vision in patients who have glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Grape Seed Extract: Grape seed extract improves blood flow in the eye's tiny vessels and combats the free-radical damage that can cause macular degeneration. Findings of one recent study indicate that taking 300 mg of Grape Seed Extract daily, can ease eyestrain and enhance perception of contrast after just 60 days, especially useful for people who stare at computer monitors for extended periods.
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid is both fat and water soluble, giving it a unique benefit as an antioxidant. These antioxidant properties may help reduce damage to the eye that occurs as part of the aging process or from diseases such as diabetes. ALA also increase levels of glutathione which acts as another powerful antioxidant within the cells.
- Fish Oil and Flaxseed Oil: Daily supplements of flaxseed oil or fish oil appear to reduce dry eye symptoms, including burning, stinging, redness and intermittent visual disturbances. For this reason, many eye doctors now are recommending flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements for their patients who suffer from dry eyes.
I know people who could not wear contact lenses due to chronic dry eyes, but were later able to wear contacts after supplementing with fish or flax oil for just 60 to 90 days!
These supplements will also help those with chronic liver disease, as these powerful antioxidants also help minimize liver cell damage. In particular, an increase in glutathione, known as the body’s master antioxidant, will assist immensly in neutralizing free radicals.
Several studies have documented lower levels of glutathione in those with macular degeneration. Health advocates familiar with the benefits of glutathione to liver and eye health generally suggest supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid as the best way to boost glutathione levels.
Foods for Healthy Eyes
The following list includes foods to consume that will improve both your liver and eye health and provide excellent nutrition for a healthy body too!
- Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, various lettuces and more.
- Berries, especially billberries and blueberries and fruits high in beta-carotene.
- Tomatoes and avocados.
- Eggs, especially omega 3-enriched eggs.
- Vegetables, especially broccoli, Brussels sprouts, corn, zucchini, green peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and any vegetable high in beta-carotene.
- Healthy meat choices such as lean beef steak.
- Flaxseeds including flaxseed meal and oil.
- Cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, lake trout, and herring.
- Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts.
Adding these health enhancing foods to your daily diet can make a huge difference in the health of your eyes, your liver, and your entire body!
Remember that any healthy changes you make to improve the health of your liver will improve your overall quality of life and that's our goal.
A Source for Quality Eye Health Supplements
One of the best sources I've found for quality eye health supplements is VisiVite.com. Their products are GMP certified. You can read all about the company and their products by clicking the link below....
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