131 Macular Degeneration

I know that you are as interested in good eyesight as I am. What’s interesting is that some of the same things that cause heart disease also predict the chances of a person getting AMD (age-related macular degeneration – the macular area provides us with central vision and helps us read, recognize people, etc).


It seems that disease of the arteries (atherosclerosis) is so common among us that some people think it is a normal thing that happens as we age. Is this true? We need to find out what is going on.


What happens is that cholesterol and fat from our diet are deposited into the walls of the arteries. But in smaller blood vessels (like in the eyes) these deposits result in the blood vessel walls stiffening, the vessels becoming inflamed, blood flow slowing down and finally leakage of fluid through the vessel walls. That sounds awful. Blood flow is reduced by 37% compared to people without the disease. So… the visual tissues in the eye are deprived of oxygen and nutrients and the receptors of light and color stop functioning and die. Oh, wow! This is terrible… but what can we do? Well… the common solution is to take vitamin and mineral supplements but the problem is… there isn’t any evidence that this helps!


But if we knew how this happens we could do something about it. Okay… but how does it happen? Here are some risk factors that may help us sort this out:


  • A diet high in all kind of fats (animal fats, trans fats from shortening and margarine, monounsaturated fats from olive oil and other vegetable fats) increases the risk by two to three times that of a low-fat diet.


  • A diet low is fruits and vegetables is associated with increased risk.


  • No vigorous activity (no exercise) increases risk.


  • When people who eat a starch based diet switch to a Western diet their risk increases.


  • Other risk factors are being overweight, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure.


So… it would seem that the solution (whole food, plant based, no free oil) is the same one that keeps our body functioning well in so many other ways. Plus… there is no charge for it and there are no side effects. We can keep the vessels in our eyes open and working and while that is happening we will also open up the blood vessels all over our body. What a great solution.


I hope you are encouraged to…


Choose Well

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