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 The Role of Nutrition in Maintaining Good Eyesight (Part 2) 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Your Eyesight and You: A Total Mind/Body Understanding of Vision by . View all columns in series

In fact, one study did show that 200 mg of zinc helped to improve acuity in people with macular degeneration. In another, people who have had higher levels of Vitamin E also had less vision loss that those with lower levels.

However, Dr. Todd believes that the underlying cause of macular degeneration (and also glaucoma) is an under-functioning thyroid. (There is a simple home test that anyone can perform to determine if they have an under-functioning thyroid. For complete details, send $1.00 to cover the cost of shipping and handling to: Cambridge Institute for Better Vision, 65 Wenham Road, Topsfield MA 01983.)

In addition to testing and balancing the functioning of the thyroid, Dr. Todd also suggests the following nutritional supplements on a daily basis, in addition to his EYEMAX-plus formula.

Zinc Picolinate 20 mg
Selenium 400 - 600 mcg
Chromium 200 mcg
Vitamin A 20,000 IU
Natural Vitamin D (not synthetic) 15,000 units
Vitamin E 400 - 1600 IU
Vitamin C 500 - 1000 mg

Dr. Todd also recommends bioflavinoids (to reduce swelling of macular region), evening primrose (to re-establish integrity of vessel walls) and lecithin.

Although the anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals are important, the body needs zinc, copper, manganese and selenium to help control the free radicals. Yet, in his analysis of his patients, Dr. Todd has found that 60% are deficient in zinc, 15% in copper, 80 - 90% in manganese and that virtually everyone is deficient in selenium. These deficiencies greatly reduce the effectiveness of vitamins E and C and beta-carotene.

Dr. Todd will not treat anyone who won't stop smoking cigarettes, and he also recommends drinking only spring water, eliminating margarine and other hydrogenated fats and avoiding laser surgery, if at all possible. (He has found that people don't respond to nutritional approaches after having had laser surgery.)

When following his treatment approaches, 88% of Dr. Todd's patients improved vision significantly over a two-year period.

The herbs bilberry (Anthocyanosides) and Ginkgo biloba have been used extensively in Europe for many years to help eye conditions, including macular degeneration. Clinical studies have shown that both can inhibit progressive vision loss. According to some studies, these two herbs appear to work directly on the eye and are more potent than nutritional anti-oxidants.

Bilberry is also used for poor day and night vision, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It has been shown to support the pigmented epithelium of the retina, reinforce the collagen structures and prevent free radical damage.

Gingko biloba increases the blood flow to the brain. European studies demonstrate impressive results in the treatment of macular degeneration and this herb has also been shown to prevent free radical damage to the retina and macula.

The state of eye health is intimately tied to the state of your overall health. Interestingly, many of the nutrients that promote eye health also have benefits for the rest of the body, so anything you do for your eyes will also help you in other ways. Conversely, the steps you take to promote eye health will also benefit the rest of your body.

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 About The Author
Martin Sussman, president and founder of the Cambridge Institute for Better Vision and developer of the world's #1 Best-selling Program for Better Vision, is also co-author of Total Health at the Computer. Mr. Sussman......moreMartin Sussman
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