Glaucoma is caused by an increased pressure in the eye. The pressure normally comes from a build-up of pressure from the fluid that is naturally present in the eyeball. In a healthy eye, this fluid is regularly drained, but in glaucoma the drainage system doesn’t work efficiently causing the fluid to gradually build up in the eye and increasing pressure. Over time, the increased pressure damages the nerve fibres that are essential to vision leading to the loss of eyesight.

Sometimes glaucoma can also occur when eye pressure is normal. It is not clear but it looks like in some individuals the optic nerves are strangely oversensitive to even normal levels of eye pressure and slowly die.


There is also evidence that at least certain cases of glaucoma can be regarded as autoimmune conditions (caused by the own immune system attacking and damaging eye nerves). A research published in 2013, “provides serious evidence for the occurrence of IgG antibody deposition and plasma cells in human glaucomatous retina. Moreover, the results suggest that these IgG deposits occurred in a pro-inflammatory environment which seems to be maintained locally by immune-competent cells like microglia. Thereby, glaucoma features an immunological involvement comparable to other neurodegenerative diseases, but also shows a multifactorial pathomechanism, which diverges and might be linked to the specific nature of both eye and retina.” >

Although in majority of patients glaucoma is caused by the elevated intraocular pressure, it is well known fact that approximately 25% of patients with glaucoma have normal intraocular pressure. There is an evidence that these patients may have conditions that facilitate non-pressure related stress to the retina and optic nerve that are actually caused by an aberrant immunity that suggests that their glaucoma might be a form of an autoimmune neuropathy. >


– Glaucoma may be related to atherosclerosis and the accumulation of cholesterol plaques in the arteries or another circulation problem problems with blood flow to the eye.

– Homocysteine levels in the tear fluid and plasma of patients with primary open-angle glaucoma is often elevated, indicating that inadequate vitamin b levels (e.g. b6, b12, and folate) may contribute to the disease. >

Omega 3 deficiency. Primary open-angle glaucoma patients have reduced blood levels of DHA and EPA. >

– Vitamin D deficiency contributes to glaucoma. >

– Magnesium deficiency may raise glaucoma risk. >

– Insufficient dietary vitamin C intake also dramatically increases cataract risk 4 to 11 times.

– One study found that people who eat the highest amounts of butter and salt have double the cataract risk compared to those who eat the lowest amounts of these foods.

There are many other possible factors that may contribute to this condition:

Dehydration (lack of water in the body caused by drinking insufficient amount of water, diet low in fruits and fresh vegetables, sweating, hot environment, fever, etc.).

Vitamin A deficiency.

Stimulants, especially smoking, coffee, black and green tea, caffeinated products (caffeine dehydrates eyes and skin).

Diabetes. Excessive sugar in the blood over time can damage the blood vessels in your retina.

– Glaucoma may be also associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disorders, lupus, and scleroderma.

– Some medications can contribute to the problem.

– Diet low in antioxidants as they are to protect our eyes from any neurological damage.

Diet high in sugar heated animal protein (especially dairy), gluten, artificial sweeteners, etc.

– Consumption of trans fats, margarine and bad oils (high in pro-inflammatory omega 6) and deficiency of omega 3 healthy fats high in foods such as Flax seed, Chia seed, etc..

Bad lifestyle, unhealthy diet high in sugar, processed refined foods, nutritional deficiencies, artificial sweeteners, lack of exercise, stimulants, drugs, medication, and in particular excessive stress, depression and pessimism may lead to the oversensitivity of the immune system which changes its nature and starts attacking own body.

– Consumption of meat and dairy products (can trigger autoimmune response and causes hormonal imbalance), refined, junk and processed foods, refined sugar, white flour products, high glucose (high fructose) syrup, stimulants (including coffee, tea, green tea, cola, etc., nutritional deficiencies, white pasta, white rice, processed foods, stress, lack of exercise, etc.



Implement principles from the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >

– Check your blood glucose levels and if it is high or if you are already diagnosed with diabetes learn how to recover from this condition >




Often eye drops are prescribed to glaucoma patients to use for life in an attempt to lower pressure inside their eyes. Unfortunately they come with a long list of side effects including:    Blurred vision, Forgetfulness, Respiratory problems, Fatigue, Lowered heart rate, Burning in the eyes, etc.

Also surgery carries with it serious risks, among them an increased risk of cataracts.


Black Seed Oil: Some glaucoma sufferers claim black seed help them to minimise symptoms by reducing pressure in the eye (often key cause of the condition).

Here is an example of testimonial posted by Khadar (Seattle, Wa) on 04/17/2016: “I had a glaucoma pressure over 18-20, which is not bad, but enough to bother me. What I found is Black seed oil and dried seeds which helped me really well.” (>)

Black seed oil also helps glaucoma sufferers by increasing acetylcholine levels. Thymohydroquinone, one of the key active ingredients of Nigella sativa, is now regarded as one of the most potent natural acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors which inhibit the acetylcholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine. In this way thymohydroquinone prolongs the time the neurotransmitter acetylcholine remains active in the brain. It means that without causing side effects Nigella sativa could replace the pharmaceutical-grade acetylcholinesterase inhibitors that are used to treat a wide range of conditions, including glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, myasthenia gravis, neurodegenerative conditions or schizophrenia! (>)

–  Turmeric seems to cure certain type or some cases of glaucoma. Angie Roberts wrote: “My Glaucoma is gone! I take curcumin daily… I had my eyes tested by my eye specialist today. He couldn’t find any signs of glaucoma. I have been taking curcumin daily for about a year.”

A study reports the potential therapeutic role of curcumin and its efficacy in eye relapsing diseases, such as anterior uveitis, and points out other promising curcumin-related benefits in eye inflammatory and degenerative conditions, such as dry eye, maculopathy, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. >

– Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) helped to cure glaucoma (testimonial): “Less than three months ago, I discovered that alpha-lipoic acid was protective against glaucoma and could reduce the pressure in my eyes. After taking one capsule a day for six weeks, I noticed a marked improvement in my eyesight. After taking the tablets for two and a half months, sure enough, the pressure has gone down to 20 mmHg (left) and 18 mmHg (right).” – Patricia Knox, Holyhead >

Alpha lipoic acid has proven its ability to prevent oxidative stress caused by radicals and other factors in nerve tissue. It helps to maintain high glutathione levels which are found to be depleted in individuals diagnosed with glaucoma. Current research also reveals protective effects of alpha lipoic acid in neuropathy, excitotoxic amino acid brain injury, mitochondrial dysfunction, and other causes of damage to neural or brain tissue.

Patients with glaucoma were given the 150 mg of Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) per day. The study showed that about 50% of the eyes in the study enhanced visual sensitivity versus the controls who received only topical medical therapy without ALA. >

Antioxidants have potential value in treating glaucoma. >

L-carnitine may be beneficial in age-related ocular pathologies. >

Ginkgo biloba appears to improve preexisting visual field damage in some patients with normal tension glaucoma (NTG). >

Ginkgo biloba improves ocular blood flow, indicating its potential therapeutic benefits in the treatment of glaucoma. >

Resveratrol may prevent tissue abnormalities associated with open-angle glaucoma. >

Goji (lycopom barbarum) may protect retinal cells in glaucoma. >

Evidence that Vitamin D Can Be Used To Treat Glaucoma. >

Since Vitamin D deficiency contributes to glaucoma > you need to take 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day after breakfast for the first 2 months plus 2 times 400 mg of Magnesium citrate such as high in elemental magnesium MagCitra (HealthAid) between meals in the morning and evening. After 2 months reduce the dosages by half. Magnesium is necessary as as deficiency of this most important mineral is rampant now and vitamin D supplements require magnesium for its conversion in our body and therefore also contribute to magnesium deficiency. Besides, eyes affected by glaucoma often contain lower levels of magnesium than eyes without glaucoma. >

Magnesium supplements have been shown to lower intraocular eye pressure (IOP) in the same way that drugs such as ‘channel blockers’ do as it blocks the uptake of calcium which relaxes the arteries. In a clinical study, 10 glaucoma patients were given 121.5 mg magnesium twice a day for a month. After a month the blood supply to the eye and their field of vision improved. 

Lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to protect against glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. In 1992, a study at Harvard Medical School in Boston surveyed almost 60,000 nurses and discovered those who ate spinach five or more times per week, as well as those who took vitamin C supplements for 10 years or more, reduced their risk of cataract surgery by almost 50 percent.  Although other carotenoids in spinach could have been responsible for that effect, this study suggests the benefits of dietary lutein and zeaxanthin (Dagnelie et al, 2000; Hankinson et al, 1992; Seddon et al, 1994).

Vitamin B12: 2,000 mcg a day under the tongue (must be sublingual Methylcobalamin!). Many people with glaucoma have low levels of this most important vitamin. Read a fascinating article on B12 > Japanese researchers prescribed 28 glaucoma patients a high oral-dose of 1,500 mcg/day vitamin B12 for five years. The patients receiving B12 experienced less measurable loss of peripheral vision, more stable visual acuity, and better control of eye fluid pressure compared to a group that did not take B12. The effects of vitamin B12 are attributed to the preservation of myelin, which insulates nerve cells. >

Zinc (helps produce thyroid hormone) – 30  to 50mg a day after breakfast.

– Take good quality probiotic formulas as 20 percent of thyroid function depends on a sufficient supply of healthy gut bacteria.

– Use Mannitol as a sweetener instead of sugar. Mannitol is a sugar alcohol used as a low-calorie sweetener as it is poorly absorbed by the intestines. As a medication, it is used to decrease pressure in the eyes in glaucoma, and to lower increased intracranial pressure. Medically, it is given by injection.


Posted by Khadar (Seattle, Wa) on 04/17/2016 : “I had a glaucoma pressure over 18-20, which is not bad, but enough pressure to be bother me. What I found is Black seed oil and dried seeds which helped me really well. 5-7 pieces of black seeds, intake morning and night before meal at the beginning, and now black seeds oil 1 teaspoons x 2, morning and evening before meal/without it. Good luck!” >

Posted by Tom (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA) on 02/09/2013:  “I have been having great success with both Mastic Gum, taken internally upon waking, and Frankincense essential oil, allowed to evaporate into the eyes, for eye pressure. I had been taking Mastic Gum for a month, which was helping my eye pressure issues to a good degree, after reading two studies. The first study linked H. Pylori bacteria with glaucoma. The second study noted a dramatic reduction in H. Pylori when mastic gum was taken as a supplement. It holds true that mastic gum is indeed very helpful for eye pressure in my experience. I then read on earthclinic, and subsequently on a couple of other places on the web, about success using Frankincense oil. So, I purchased the best quality Frankincense essential oil that I could find. Specifically, oil from the Boswellia Sacra species. I believe that it is steam distilled, which works fine. Every day thereafter, I followed the recommended procedure of dropping 2-3 drops of oil in my hand, rubbing my palms together to distribute the oil, and then cupping my hands over my open eyes with as air-tight a seal as possible and allowing the evaporating oil to mingle with my exposed open eyes. One of the tricks of this procedure is to not cup your hands over your eyes right away, but to allow at least one minute to pass in-between the time that you drop the oil on your hands and the time that you expose your eyes to it. Frankincense oil has volatile oxidative oils (recognizable by the citrusy top-note of the oil) that will irritate your eyes, but which largely evaporate within a minute or so of being exposed to air. Waiting at least 60 seconds to cup your eyes assures that most of these oils evaporate and that your eyes won’t be so irritated. Generally, I also count to 60 when cupping my oiled hands over my eyes, which seems to be enough. If any significant irritation starts, which may or may not happen at about the minute mark, I stop. Usually, irritation just means that you didn’t wait quite long enough for the volatile oils to evaporate. It’s not really a problem, as the irritation is both gradual and mild if it happens at all. The frankincense is very powerful, assuming a good grade of oil, and its effects will last all day. I generally perform the frankincense procedure either in the morning or the afternoon, but have also found it helpful when any type of inflammation or eye pressure is felt. The combination of mastic gum and frankincense is even more powerful. The only problem is the cost of good frankincense oil and mastic gum. Neither are cheap. A one month supply of both is currently running me about $65. You will probably need around 10 ml of oil per month.” >

Posted by Helen (Beirut, Lebanon) on 07/26/2010: “Hi, I am 47 years old and I have glaucoma since 15 years, 10 years ago I read about a Spanish doctor cured the glaucoma with 1) omega 3, 2) vitamin C, 3) ginkgo biloba. My visual field test showed excellent improvement, now the doctors tell me that I don’t have glaucoma, I am a glaucoma suspect now, the pressure in the eye is less, and I am not using my eye drops regularly, still getting better, also using sea salt (cooking & eating) instead of regular salt. My daily doses are:1000 mg vitamin C , 1 tablet ginkgo biloba, one soft gel fish oil for the omega three.” >


–  Eat Black Currants every day. In his article about glaucoma Dr Michael Greger mentioned about two studies which demonstrated amazing beneficial effect of regular black currant consumption: “A few years ago, Japanese researchers showed they could apparently halt the progression of glaucoma with black currants. They gave people black currants for six months and found that black currants significantly boosted the blood flow to their optic nerve. The results suggest that black currants might be a safe and valuable option, but because the study was not double-blind and there was no control group, I didn’t report on it when it was initially published. But now we’ve got just such a study. Glaucoma patients were split into two groups—half got black currants; the other half didn’t. The study measured the deterioration of the patients’ visual fields in both groups in the two years leading up to the study. Despite taking the best glaucoma drugs on the market, the subjects’ visual fields deteriorated. Then the study starts. The berry-free control group continued to worsen, but the berries appeared to stop the disease in its tracks after both one and two years. And since there’s no downside to berries (only good side-effects), in my professional opinion everyone with glaucoma should be eating berries every day.” >

– Drink more distilled or at least filtered soft (low in calcium) water >

– Often eat raw spinach as it is a great source of antioxidant lutein.

– Quit smoking and stay away from alcohol, sugar, salt, caffeine, black tea, and caffeinated products as it can also reduce your dry eye symptoms, as caffeine is known to dehydrate.

– Take Chlorella every day at least before breakfast. Since Chlorella is a powerful detoxifier and energy booster it is better if you start with a smaller dose such as 1 teaspoon or 3 tablets 30 minutes before breakfast and the same amount 30 minutes before lunch with 2 glasses of water, vegetable juice or smoothie. Then gradually increase the intake every day (by approximately 1 tablet) until reaching the maximum dose of 2 heaped tablespoons or 10 – 20 tablets (500mg) 30 min before breakfast and the same amount 30 min before lunch. Altogether you can take 2-6 round tablespoons or about 20-40 tablets (500mg per tablet) of chlorella a day. The dose of course also depends on age and body weight.  If you don’t like the taste of Chlorella powder take tablets. Since Chlorella is a form of highly nutritious food it is advisable and more beneficial to chew or at least break the tablets in mouth before swallowing them as it will make easier for the digestive system to process it later. While taking chlorella remember to increase your water intake to 3 times a day 2-3 glasses between meals. If you experience sleeping problems due to the fact that chlorella boosts energy I would suggest to take it only before breakfast. Keep in mind that there are many sources and types of Chlorella available so make sure you buy good quality product such as chlorella offered by Pukka.

– According to Dr Michael Greger, “A plant-based diet may be the best thing for patients with glaucoma. Lower protein, total fat, and cholesterol intake, and increase complex carbohydrates. Increase vitamin A content by eating red, orange, yellow, and dark green leafy vegetables; increase zinc and folate by eating whole-grains, beans, and raw vegetables—especially spinach; ensure sufficient B6 and potassium intake by eating nuts, bananas, and beans; ensure sufficient vitamin C by eating citrus; eliminate alcohol and caffeine; reduce sugar and salt intake, and increase water consumption to six to eight glasses per day.”

Dark leafy greens help to support eye health. And that those with the highest consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables, especially ones rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, had increased vision health.

– Consume organic fruits on empty stomach. It will have alkalise your body for more optimal health and hydration.

– Place a warm wet compress with eyebright tea on your eyes 2 or 3 times a day for at least 5 minutes or longer. It will impose a relaxing effect on the eyes and promotes a healthier tear flow. Instead of water you can use herbal teas such as calendula, eyebright, chamomile, etc.

– Position your computer screen below eye level.

– Every day eat fresh raw (not cooked) sprouts (alfalfa sprouts, watercress sprouts, sunflower sprouts, etc.).
The process of seed germination results in a dramatic increase in their vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content. According to Dr. J. Mercola, „Sprouts can contain up to 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables! Sprouted seed, nut or bean has a whopping 43 times the enzyme power when compared to the non-sprouted variety! Sprouts are the highest source of ENZYMES which improve digestion of food and absorption of essential nutrients.”
Sprouts are also bioactive food as they are the only plant based food that is still growing as we consume them! Purchasing very inexpensive sprouts at retail stores is the simplest method for adding sprouts to your menu, but growing them at home on a large tray with soil is much better. Using good quality soil to grow your own sprouts, you make them organic and free from pesticides and other unwanted chemicals. I make my own sunflower sprouts as they are most delicious and very potent. Try to avoid consuming the same type of sprouts every day for a longer period of time. Instead use variety of different sprouts but the most important seem to be fresh sunflower sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and watercress sprouts. On YouTube you will find numerous videos explaining how to make your own sprouts at home.

– Drink 1 or 2 glasses of fresh raw and possibly cold-pressed (using slow juicer) vegetable juices (carrots, beets, broccoli, kale or spinach, etc.)  2 to 3 times a day before meals or instead. It is even better to have them with chlorella or spirulina, alfalfa, turmeric and barley grass. If you want to maintain your health drink 2 to 3 times 1 glass. In case your intension is to treat different health problems such as cancer, etc. you need to have 2 glasses 3 to 4 times a day.

Zinc: 15-30mg a day after meal.

– Every day have at least two tablespoons of soaked overnight in water (or plant milk) chia seed with meal as it regulates blood glucose, increases energy, helps to reduce appetite and lose weight, and increases energy. Chia seed is also one of the highest plant sources of the very beneficial and anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.

– Avoid or at least significantly reduce consumption of dairy and meat products. If you only reduce consumption of animal foods, bad fats, sugar, and refined foods you may not see positive results quickly and get discouraged as a result. Go to RECIPES > in order to learn how to substitute animal foods.

– Eliminate the following from your diet: Animal fats, margarines (high in dangerous trans-fats), and bad oils (sunflower oil, soya oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, etc.) as they are high in pro-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acid. For cooking use only raw organic coconut oil. For salad dressing you may use cold pressed flax oil (but not for cooking).

Natural Ways to Lower Your Eye Pressure

You do have another option, though, as surprising as it may sound the same lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure typically also work to lower your eye pressure, thereby helping to prevent and even treat glaucoma without a risk of side effects.

Lower your insulin levels: As your insulin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure, and possibly also your eye pressure, to increase. In time this can cause your body to become insulin resistant, and studies show insulin resistance — which is common in people with diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure — is linked to elevated eye pressure.The solution is to avoid sugar and grains, the two “food groups” that will inevitably cause surges in your insulin levels. Even whole, organic grains will rapidly break down to sugars, so they too should be avoided. So in addition to avoiding sugar, if you have glaucoma or are concerned about it, you’ll want to avoid foods like:  Breads Pasta  Rice Cereal Potatoes

Exercise regularly: One of the most effective ways to lower your insulin levels is through exercise. A regular, effective exercise program consisting of aerobics, sprint-burst type exercises, and strength training can go a long way toward reducing your insulin levels and protecting your vision.Other Tips to Keep Your Vision Healthy

Taking an animal-based omega-3 fat supplement. A type of omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help protect and promote healthy retinal function. DHA is concentrated in your eye’s retina and has been found to be particularly useful in preventing macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.

Getting loads of lutein and zeaxanthin. Many have never heard of these two vision powerhouses, but they are incredibly important for your eyesight. Lutein, which is a carotenoid found in particularly large quantities in green, leafy vegetables, acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radical damage. Some excellent sources include kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.

Zeaxanthin is likely to be equally as effective as lutein in protecting eyesight.

It is important to note that lutein is an oil-soluble nutrient, and if you merely consume the above vegetables without some oil or butter you can’t absorb the lutein. So make sure you’re eating some healthy fat along with your veggies,    Eggs yolks are also loaded with these nutrients but once the egg is cooked they tend to be damaged and non useful. So you can consume them raw by whipping them up in a shake or cooking them minimally as in sunny side or poach them with runny yolks.

Avoiding trans fats:  Trans fat may interfere with omega-3 fats in your body, which are extremely important for your eye health. A diet high in trans fat also appears to contribute to macular degeneration. Trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods like French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers.

Eating dark-colored berries. The European blueberry, bilberry, is known to prevent and even reverse macular degeneration, and bioflavonoids from other dark-colored berries including blueberries, cranberries and others will also be beneficial. They work by strengthening the capillaries that carry nutrients to eye muscles and nerves.  However, because berries contain natural sugar they should be eaten in moderation to avoid upsetting your insulin levels.Following the healthy lifestyle tips I’ve described above will go a long way toward protecting your vision, whether you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma or simply want to keep your eyesight in top condition.

If you have glaucoma, however, it’s especially important to eliminate those grains and sugars, get exercising, and consume animal-based omega-3 fat regularly in order to keep the disease from progressing.

Eliminate all suspected food allergens, including dairy (milk, cheese, and eggs), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives, and food additives. Your health care provider may want to test you for food allergies.

Eat more antioxidant rich foods (such as green, leafy vegetables and peppers) and fruits (such as blueberries, tomatoes, and cherries). Some studies show that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of glaucoma.

Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.    Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy) or beans for protein.    Use healthy oils in foods, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.    Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in such commercially baked goods as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.    Avoid coffee and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco.    Drink 6 – 8 glasses of filtered water daily.    Exercise moderately, if tolerated, 5 days a week. You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:    A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.    Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 – 2 capsules or 1 tablespoon oil daily, to help reduce inflammation. Fish oil may increase bleeding in sensitive individuals, such as those taking blood-thinning medications (including aspirin).  Vitamin C, 500 – 1,000 mg daily, as an antioxidant.    Coenzyme Q10, 100 – 200 mg at bedtime, for antioxidant support.    Alpha-lipoic acid, 25 – 50 mg twice daily, for antioxidant support.    Lutein, 2 – 6 mg daily, for antioxidant support in eye health. HerbsHerbs are generally a safe way to strengthen and tone the body’s systems. As with any therapy, you should speak with your health care provider before starting treatment.You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, and teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 – 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 – 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 – 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone or in combination as noted.    Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) standardized extract, 80 mg 2 – 3 times daily, for antioxidant and vision support. Bilberry may interact with diabetes medication and may increase the effect of blood thinning medications, such as aspirin and warfarin (Coumadin).    Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) standardized extract, 40 – 80 mg 3 times daily, for antioxidant and immune support. Ginkgo may increase bleeding in sensitive individuals, such as those taking blood-thinning mediations (including aspirin).    Green tea (Camellia sinensis) standardized extract, 250 – 500 mg daily, for antioxidant and immune effects. Use caffeine-free products. You may also prepare teas from the leaf of this herb. Source: Glaucoma | University of Maryland Medical Center of Maryland Medical CenterFollow us: @UMMC on Twitter | MedCenter on FacebookAre you aware of numerous reports of excess protein and glaucoma risk? Some eye doctors recommend that people eat a diet of 50 percent raw vegetables and fruits daily because there are connections of excess vanadium and protein powders to glaucoma. And a deficiency of chromium is related to glaucoma. It’s also known that glaucoma runs in families. There’s a genetic risk. But it’s a risk and not destiny. If you’re worried about getting glaucoma, ask your doctor for a chromium test because chromium deficiency is connected with glaucoma. You might research more information pertaining to how nutrition is related to specific eye problems at the Nutritional Optometry Institute in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey.Read the article at the Nutritional Optometry Institute site titled, “Too Much Protein.” Also,see the article titled “What Eye  Doctors are Telling Patients about Nutrition.”A passage from the article at the “Too Much Protein” site reads, “Many of my patients who have vision problems are consuming more than double and even triple the RDAs of protein——and most of the average American’s protein is from flesh protein sources——foods such as beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, turkey, fish, and shellfish. Some nutritionists have criticized the RDAs as being too low; nonetheless, considering longevity, vitality, reproductive adequacy, and freedom from morbidity as appropriate measures of success, the RDA for protein is quite sufficient.”The problem also, according to article at the “Too Much Protein” site notes, “One consequence of taking in too much phosphorus and too little calcium (and magnesium as well) is a syndrome called “secondary hyperthyroidism.” This condition is probably heavily implicated in osteoporosis and, according to my evidence, is a principal cause of increased distensibility of the sclera (the white outer coat of the eyes), allowing more rapid development of nearsightedness (myopia) and other refractive changes.”Find out how nutrition plays a role in preventing and controlling glaucoma. One of the studies done at Columbia, University, NY that is mentioned in the book Healing with Vitamins, (2008), on page 272,  found that persons with chromium deficiency that were eating too many foods containing vanadium, a common trace mineral had a higher risk for getting glaucoma.Vanadium is found in dulse, kelp, and other seaweed as well as in large marine fish and in the fish meal made of marine-phosphate fed to poultry. Find out whether you need more chromium, if you’ve been eating refined foods or foods containing a lot of sugar. Chromium is used by the eye muscles to focus.When you read and focus too much, too much fluid can be produced inside your eyes. If the fluid doesn’t drain well, the pressure builds. The cycle repeats with fewer nutrients reaching the optic nerve, and poor circulation in the retina.Regarding protein powders, doctors are seeing healthy men in their twenties and thirties with glaucoma. Is the culprit too large a dose of protein powder? Vitamin B6 often is removed from some protein powders that also may have other nutrients removed. But vitamin B6 is essential to make and replace certain proteins that are required by the eyes for proper circulation and fluid balance.According to a sentence in the “Food Factors” box on page 273 in the book titled, Healing with Vitamins (Rodale Health Books), “As a result, these lower-quality proteins seem to be contributing to restricted fluid movement in the eyes and the development of pigmentary glaucoma.”Sure, many other proteins in your diet contribute to glaucoma. But according to page 273 in “Food Factors” in the book titled, Healing with Vitamins, a passage reads, “protein powders deliver protein in such high levels it seems to be accelerating the process in some men.” Also people with diabetes and those with glaucoma are both frequently found to be low in chromium. So you don’t want to be low in chromium and high in valadium.Besides getting chromium in your multiple vitamins, if the labels say it contains chromium, you can take trace minerals; multiple minerals, a tiny amount with a GTF chromium supplement, or a tiny amount such as 200mcg or less with chromium supplement such as Chrome Mate, or find foods rich in chromium. Some foods rich in chromium are grape juice, egg yolks, brewer’s yeast, fruits, and vegetables. The Daily Value for chromium is just 120 mcgs. Don’t take too much because it’s a metal.Don’t take vitamin C with chromium at the same time such as taking it together in a multiple vitamin because the vitamin C interferes with your body’s absorption of chromium. Chromium affects your blood sugar levels. For more information, see pages 273-274 of the book titled, Healing with Vitamins (Rodale Health Books).What you do want to get plenty of is your Omega 3 fatty acids that you find in the good quality fish oils. You want to cut down on sugar and eat more green vegetables. Taking a lot of protein powders is not good. You don’t want protein delivered in such high levels as found in many of those powders.Which Vitamins in Foods Protect Your Eyesight?You’d need at least 100 percent of daily requirements of vitamin C from a variety of sources. For example, three kiwi fruits contain only about 20% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. What you want to add to this diet is more sources of vitamin C as well as a balance of selenium and magnesium from nuts such as almonds. As the selenium from the nuts stimulates the immune system, it also protects the carotenoids from the carrot juice and other fruits and vegetables from oxidative damage.To protect against degenerative age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, or diabetic retinopathy, magnesium in foods helps to relaxes the smooth muscles in your eyes that regulate the outflow of fluids from the inner eye. You don’t want fluid build-up in your eyes that leads to the onset of glaucoma.Start with two handfuls of almonds or cashew nuts each day. For example, one cup of almonds or hazelnuts alsoprovides a sufficient amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E to help to fight off degenerative ocular and vascular alterations leading to glaucoma and AMD. What you need to do is combine nuts with foods that contain a balance of zinc to copper and vitamin C.That’s where seafood comes in providing a combination of zinc with your other foods containing vitamin C. Try some canned wild-caught salmon mixed with chopped vegetables on a salad or sandwich.Wild-caught salmon that’s canned is from the overrun and is the same fish you’d buy fresh for $16 a pound or more. But since it’s the overrun of the wild-caught catch, it’s canned and priced more like $4. What’s in the salmon is the Omega 3 fatty acids. Or you can take fish oil that’s purified to help protect your eyes from the ravages of oxidation.The reason for eating certain wild-caught fish like salmon or taking purified fish oils high in Omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA and especially DHA in balance is that these fatty acids help to restore vascular health when balanced with amounts of Omega 9 oil from avocados or almonds and Omega 6 oils from extra virgin olive oil or other nut oils.The Omega 3 fatty acids helps to keep your optical nerve response in your eyes and vascular eye health from rapid aging and degeneration. As your eyes age, your eyes lose the necessary omega-3 fatty acids. When the omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA is lost, your eyes begin to increase deposits of oxidized compounds helping to cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the elderly.You’d need a balance of zinc and copper in your diet. One example of a food high in zinc is oysters. Some types of gourd squash (calabash) also are high in zinc. Oysters contain about 100 times more zinc than any other marine animals. Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes, including those producing light-sensing retinal from vitamin A.Without zinc, beta-carotene (found in carrots) will not prevent night blindness and other adverse effects of vitamin Adeficiency. Zinc also helps to prevent other eye diseases caused by oxidative stress, including glaucoma, cataracts, and poor night vision. Four oysters daily help to maintain healthy zinc levels.To get carrotenes, if you don’t like carrots, try melons, peaches, tomatoes, plums, and red grapes or mix all of these in a salad of fruits and vegetables. The carrotenes help with night vision by aiding the transmission of light signals in retinal cells. But you also need to balance orange and green vegetables and fruits.That’s where raw spinach salads or juices come in. You could also add a teaspoon of barley green powder to spinach and water or other vegetable juice in a blender and drink a green juice each day. Or eat spinach in a salad as well as other dark green leafy vegetables such as Lacinado kale or romaine lettuce. Carotenoids also are green as well as orange or yellow.Cooked spinach and carrots have about the same amounts of beta-carotene. But spinach has lutein and zeaxanthin. You could also buy lutein powder as a supplement that contains zeaxanthin. Try to get lutein and zeaxanthin in fresh vegetables as much as possible.As the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin build up in your eyes, they help to protect your eyes from ultra violet light in the sun. If too much sun gets in the eyes, it could promote the development of cataracts in someone without the ability to absorb the vitamins from foods that help protect the eyes against ultra violet light from the sun. But if you stay out of the sun,you’ll get less vitamin D3. Or you could wear wrap-around sunglasses to protect your vision, provided that the sunglasses screen out 100 percent of the ultra violet (UV) light.Broccoli is good for your eyes because it contains one fifth the recommended daily dose of vitamins C, A, E, B2, lutein, and zeaxanthin. With broccoli, also eat blueberries. The berries have around 30 percent of your daily vitamin C needs and are good for the brain as well.As you eat blueberries, the minerals and other vitamins in the berries help to restore visual acuity when you leave a brightly lighted room or outdoors and walk into a dark room, such as a dark theater. In the 1940s, pilots were fed bilberry, related to the blueberry to help their eyes adjust to flying at night. The blueberries today would help your eyes adjust more quickly to going from light to darkness. Today, berries are eaten to help relieve computer eye fatigue also called Computer Eye Syndrome (CES).Other fruits helpful to eyesight are mangos becuse of the combination of high amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and crypthoxanthin, a carotenoid found in mangos, along with vitamin E. When you eat a fruit that combines the crypthoxanthin with the vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), the combination of vitamins with vitamin C all work to help reduce eye pressure, and protect against oxidative damage.You don’t want pressure inside your eyes from fluid build-up to lead to glaucoma. That’s why a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are good for the eyes. Just make sure you don’t overdo the fruits that build up sugar spikes in your blood, causing too much insulin to be released in your bloodstream, which in turn, could lead to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, which ages you faster.Carbs and CataractsAccording to the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service,in a July 2005 news report titled, “High Carbs May Boost Cataract Risk,” high carbohydrate diets were linked with a greater risk of cataracts in a study of 417 women age 53 to 73.New details about the association between high carbohydrates and cataract risk have emerged from a study reported in the June 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (volume 81, pages 1411-1416). Does exposure to excess  glucose damage the lenses of the eyes over time?Cataracts are a major cause of blindness worldwide and afflict an estimated 20 million Americans. Scientists don’t know what links high-carbohydrate intake to increased cataract risk.Possibly, increased exposure to glucose, a breakdown product of carbohydrates, might damage our eyes’ lenses. Read the entire July 2005 news report, High Carbs May Boost Cataract Risk, at the US Department of Agriculture’s Food & Nutrition Research Briefs site.   Women who ate an average of 200 to 268 grams of carbohydrates each day were more than twice as likely to develop cortical cataracts, than women whose meals provided between 101 and 185 grams by day’s end. That’s according to the ARS-funded scientists at the ARS Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA.The recommended daily allowance for carbohydrates for adults and children is 130 grams. Researchers analyzed eye exam results and 14 years’ worth of food records collected from 417 women, aged 53 to 73.The women, participants in the nationwide Nurses’ Health Study, did not have a history of cataracts but were recently diagnosed with the disease. Research continues to see what the links are between simple carbs and the formation of cataracts.That’s why a balanced diet is important. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Improved vitamin A nutrition could prevent up to 2.5 million deaths annually among children under 5 years.” Vitamin A for the Children of the World Task Force Sight and Life, 2000. According to the Center for Disease Control’s article, “International Micronutrient Prevention and Control Program,” in 2000, CDC established the International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) Program.The program goal is to work with global partners to contribute CDC skills and resources to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies as public health problems among vulnerable populations throughout the world, particularly for iron, vitamin A, iodine, and folic acid. The problems related to eye sight focuses on issues of what can be done about nutritional deficiencies around the world.How can blindness due to nutritional deficiencies around the world be prevented? Here are examples of how the International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) Program works with global partners to contribute CDC skills and resources to eliminate vitamin and mineral deficiencies (micronutrient malnutrition) among vulnerable populations throughout the world. Established by the CDC in 2000, IMMPaCt focuses primarily on helping eliminate deficiencies in iron, vitamin A, iodine, and folic acid.The problem of vitamin A deficiency.Vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness and is the single most important cause of childhood blindness in developing countries. Every year, about 500,000 children lose their sight as a result of vitamin A deficiency. The majority (about 70%) die within one year of losing their sight.Vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of severe illness, and even death, from common childhood infections such as diarrheal diseases and measles. In developing countries 200-300 million children of preschool age are at risk of vitamin A deficiency.Vitamin A deficiency may increase the risk of maternal mortality in pregnant women. Nearly 600,000 women die from childbirth-related causes each year, the vast majority of them from complications which could be reduced through better nutrition, such as vitamin A.Global Prevalence of Vitamin A Deficiency WHO/UNICEF 1995*Combating vitamin A deficiency. WHO 2002*Iron”As many as 4-5 billion people, 66-80% of the world’s population, may suffer from reduced learning ability and work capacity due to iron deficiency.”The problem of iron deficiencyIron deficiency, and specifically iron deficiency anemia, is one of the most severe and important nutritional deficiencies in the world. Preschool children and women of reproductive age are at highest risk. As many as 4-5 billion people, 66-80% of the world’s population, may be iron deficient and approximately 2 billion people, more than 30% of the world’s population, are anemic. It is estimated that more than half of the pregnant women in developing countries are anemic.Iron deficiency impairs the cognitive development of children through to adolescence.Iron deficiency damages immune mechanisms, and is associated with increased morbidity rates.Iron deficiency impairs physical work capacity in men and women by up to 30%.Iron deficiency during pregnancy is associated with multiple adverse outcomes for both mother and infant, including increased risk of sepsis, maternal mortality, perinatal mortality, and low birth weight.Iron deficiency and anemia reduce learning ability and the work capacity of individuals and entire populations, bringing serious economic consequences and obstacles to national development.Iron Deficiency Anaemia. Assessment, Prevention and Control. A Guide for Programme Managers. WHO/UNICEF/UNU 2001* (PDF-580k)Iron and Iron DeficiencyIodineThe problem of iodine deficiency is especially serious for pregnant women and young children. During pregnancy, even a mild deficiency of iodine can reduce brain development of the fetus limiting the intellectual ability of an individual for life.Iodine deficiency can cause severe mental and physical retardation, known as cretinism. Iodine deficiency in chronic form, can cause goiter (a disorder characterized by swelling of the thyroid gland) in both adults and children.Iodine deficiency most commonly, impedes fetal brain development. At the population level, the consequence of iodine deficiency is a 10-15% lower average intellectual quotient (IQ), which affects the social and economic development of both communities and nations.The World Bank has estimated that, combined with vitamin A deficiency and iron deficiency, iodine deficiency may lower the economic wealth of a nation by as much as 5% every year.Assessment of Iodine Deficiency Disorders and Monitoring their Elimination: A Guide for Programme Managers 2nd edition. WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD 2001* (PDF-1,237K)The problem of iodine deficiency).Assessment of Iodine Deficiency Disorders and Monitoring their Elimination: A Guide for Programme Managers 2nd edition. WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD 2001*(PDF-1,237k).Network for Sustained Elimination of Iodine Deficiency*.Ending Iodine Deficiency Forever. A goal within our grasp. UNICEF/WHO 2000* (PDF-1,236k).Folic AcidFolic acid helps prevent spina bifida and anencephaly that affect at least 225,000 children a year throughout the world. For further information see the study: Berry RJ et al. Prevention of Neural-tube Defects with Folic Acid in China. China-U.S. Collaborative Project for Neural Tube Defect Prevention. N Engl J Med 1999;341(20):1485-1490.The problem of folic acid deficiencyAn estimated 300,000 children are born each year with spina bifida and anencephaly, which are severe neural tube defects. Approximately 75%, 225,000, of these affected births could be prevented through increased consumption of synthetic folic acid by all women of reproductive age.Folic acid can help prevent birth defects of the brain (anencephaly) and the spinal cord (spina bifida) called neural tube defects.Folic acid can help prevent anemia.Folic acid can possibly help prevent breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease.For further information see the following studies:Berry RJ et al. Prevention of neural-tube defects with folic acid in China. China-U.S. Collaborative Project for Neural Tube Defect Prevention. N Engl J Med 1999;341(20):1485-1490.MRC Vitamin Study Research Group Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. MRC Vitamin Study Research group. Lancet 1991;338 (8760):131-7.Czeizel AE, Dudas I: Prevention of the first occurrence of neural tube defects by periconceptional vitamin supplementation. N Engl J Med 1992;327(26):1832-5Why Folic Acid is So Important. CDC 2002Folic AcidAccording to the June 2009 article,”‘Eye Food – fact sheet–Transitions Healthy Sight Survey,” foods that fight cataracts and macular degeneration contain both phytonutrients and sulfur. Eggs contain cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, carotenoids and zeaxanthin.These nutrients help to protect the lens of the eye from cataract formation. When you add vitamin C to the cysteine, sulfur, and lecithin in the eggs from juice, such as orange juice mixed with carrot juice or kiwi fruit, the phytonutrients such as the carotenoids and zeaxanthin in the eggs and the mixture of fruit and vegetable juice contain key antioxidants that help to eliminate free radicals that can cause eye damageDietary Fat & Macular Degeneration RiskAccording to the article, “Macular Degeneration Information,” published in the Eye Digest, “High fat intake is associated with an increased risk of macular degeneration in both women and men.”The diet recommended at the Eye Digest site contains two types of fat (saturated and unsaturated). Trans fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil–a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats.According to the article, both types (saturated & unsaturated) are associated with an increase in risk of macular degeneration. Surprisingly, even increased intake of polyunsaturated fats (the good fat), which have a protective effect against heart diseases, do not have a similar protective against macular degeneration.Recent research has shown that although increasing the intake of all types of polyunsaturated fats does not help in macular degeneration, preferentially increasing intake of one type of polyunsaturated fat and simultaneously reducing intake of another type of polyunsaturated fat does help.Linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid), which is a type of polyunsaturated fat found primarily in fish and flaxseed oil, is associated with lessening of macular degeneration risk, but only among individuals with lower intake of linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid). Therefore, intake of food sources with high linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid) and low linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid), may help in macular degeneration.View the ‘Trans Fat’ video 56K or cable/DSL. The Eye Digest site notes that, “Of the food sources, intake of beef, pork, or lamb as a main dish increases the risk of macular degeneration. More than 1 serving/week of beef, pork, or lamb as a main dish is associated with a 35% increased risk of macular degeneration as compared with less than 3 servings/month.”A high intake of margarine is also significantly related to an increased risk of macular degeneration. 1 serving per day of high-fat dairy food (whole milk, ice cream, hard cheese, or butter) increases risk of macular degeneration progression by 1.91 times, according to the “Macular Degeneration Information” article.One serving per day of meat food (hamburger, hot dogs, processed meat, bacon,beef as a sandwich, or beef as a main dish) increases risk of macular degeneration progression by 2.09 times. 1 serving per day of processed baked goods (commercial pie, cake, cookies, and potato chips) increases risk of macular degeneration progression by 2.42 times.What’s Helpful?People who eat fish more than 4 times/week have a lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consume it less than 3 times/month, according to the “Macular Degeneration Information” article. This is especially true for Tuna fish. The “Macular Degeneration Information” article reports that, “People who eat canned tuna more than once per week are 40% less likely to develop macular degeneration as compared with those who consumed it less than once per month.”The question here is what about the mercury in canned tuna compared to the relatively less mercury in canned, wild-caught salmon? According to the “Macular Degeneration Information” article, “Fish is a major source of DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid). Recently it has been reported that there is a potential beneficial effect of eating any type of nuts on risk of progression of macular degeneration.Eating one serving per day of any type of nut reduces the risk of progression of macular degeneration by 40%, according to the “Macular Degeneration Information” article. “This beneficial effect complements other literature reporting a protective role for nuts and cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. One of the bioactive compounds in nuts, resveratrol, has antioxidant, antithrombotic, and anti-inflammatory properties.”See, “AgingEye Times.” AgingEye Times recommendation: Fat provides about 42 percent of the calories in the average American diet. A diet that derives closer to 20-25 percent of total calories from fat is probably healthier.Reducing fat intake to this level means cutting down greatly on consumption of red meats and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter.

References: Arch Ophthalmol.2000;118:401-4, Arch Ophthalmol.2001;119:1191-9,Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:209-18, Arch Ophthalmol 2003 Dec;121:1728-37).For further information, you can check out these medical research studies below on vegetables, fruits, phytonutrients, vitamins, and how they help your eyesight.1. The Transitions Optical Healthy Sight Survey was conducted by world-renowned market research company Ipsos-Markinor in March 2009. One thousand South African respondents partook in the survey.2. Rhone, M. & Basu, A. Phytochemicals and age-related eye diseases. Nutr Rev 66, 465-472 (2008).3. Elvevoll, E.O., et al. Enhanced incorporation of n-3 fatty acids from fish compared with fish oils. Lipids 41, 1109-1114(2006).4. Rhone, M. & Basu, A. Phytochemicals and age-related eye diseases. Nutr Rev 66, 465-472 (2008).5. Michikawa, T., et al. Serum antioxidants and age-related macular degeneration among older Japanese. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 18, 1-7 (2009).Photo credits: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) image from CDC’s public domain media library (eye safety).


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Jae H. Kang, Walter C. Willett, Bernard A. Rosner, Emmanuel Buys, Janey L. Wiggs, Louis R. Pasquale. Association of Dietary Nitrate Intake With Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. JAMA Ophthalmology, 2016; 1 DOI: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.5601

Hongmei Ren, Nwabueze Magulike, Kebreab Ghebremeskel, Michael Crawford. “Primary open-angle glaucoma patients have reduced levels of blood docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2006 Mar;74(3):157-63. Epub 2006 Jan 10. PMID: 16410047

Shaheen Patel, Joyce J Mathan, Ehsan Vaghefi, Andrea J Braakhuis. “The effect of flavonoids on visual function in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2015 Sep 4. Epub 2015 Sep 4. PMID: 26340868

Hiu-Chi Chan, Raymond Chuen-Chung Chang, Angel Koon-Ching Ip, Kin Chiu, Wai-Hung Yuen, Sze-Yong Zee, Kwok-Fai So. “Neuroprotective effects of Lycium barbarum Lynn on protecting retinal ganglion cells in an ocular hypertension model of glaucoma.” Exp Neurol. 2007 Jan;203(1):269-73. Epub 2006 Oct 11. PMID: 17045262

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