BLINDNESS—Prevention with Lutein
Sanford Pinna, M.D
All healthy humans are born with five modalities of
Our five senses are taken for granted when we grow up
from childhood and become adults.
We converse with each other, unwittingly assuming
that our partner understands what we say when we mention
a color or a sound or a sensation.
It is only when we lose one our senses that we realize
that we have just lost part of our living universe and that life now has a black void in that area that was so full of emotion and a cause of our joy in living prior to its disappearance.
Imagine if you cannot hear music or the voice of your loved one?
Imagine if you could not feel the caress of fingers against your cheek from your smiling fiend.
Imagine if you could not smell flowers or the odor of freshly prepared food that you know
Imagine if you could not taste the flavor of a delicious berry or a stew that has been simmering for hours?
Imagine if you suddenly awaked and looked for a blue sky filled with white clouds and a bright
yellow sun and you saw nothing?
Undoubtedly, the loss of your sight and your vision would be your most devastating loss.
And yet, it happens to many of us, frequently, for so many reasons.
We call it blindness, and it is the most feared sensory loss.
Blindness occurs in infancy as a congenital defect or, rarely as a unique type of cancer.
Doctors who examine newborn babies always shine a light into their eyes.
They are looking for a white flash: LEUCOCORIA
WHITE EYE — SIGN OF CANCER OF THE RETINA
This is the sign of a RETINOBLASTOMA or cancer of the retina.
This cancer is highly curable through surgery; but, otherwise, it can be deadly.
After childhood, blindness is rare until adulthood.
Then, as we age there are a number of
diseases and conditions that may cause blindness.
Here is the list from the World Health Organization…
According to WHO estimates, the most common causes of blindness around the world in 2002 were:
- cataracts (47.9%),
- glaucoma (12.3%),
- age-related macular degeneration (8.7%),
- corneal opacity (5.1%), and
- diabetic retinopathy (4.8%),
- childhood blindness (3.9%),
- trachoma (3.6%)
All of these diseases can be helped with surgery
or medication or a combination of the two modalities;
but there is one that you yourself can hopefully
prevent through the early use of two supplements:
Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
This combination of supplements has such
good research credentials behind it that the famous
manufacturer of optical equipment, Bausch and Lomb
came out with a combination capsule containing
these two supplements called OCUVITE.
When I see a large famous corporation which
deals primarily with doctors, hospitals and
laboratories; put their reputation and their
money on the line to market a supplement,
I take notice.
I have researched these two supplements
and also Macular Degeneration, and I think
Bausch and Lomb have made the right move.
THE SUPPLEMENTS: LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN
ARE AVAILABLE FROM MANY SUPPLIERS, AT
PRICES LOWER THAN OCUVITE.
CHOOSE THOSE THAT FIT YOUR BUDGET.
WHAT IS MACULAR DEGENERATION?
Here is an example from a famous
DAME JUDI DENCH
Dame Judi Dench has revealed she is battling to save her eyesight.
The James Bond Star, 77, has been diagnosed with macular degeneration which can lead to blindness.
In a deeply moving interview, Dame Judi said her sight is already so bad she cannot see faces in front of her and friends have to read scripts to her so she can learn her lines.
But she said she is determined not to let the condition beat her and hopes recent treatment has stopped the progressive decline.
She confessed: “I can’t read scripts any more because of the trouble with my eyes.
“And so somebody comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story.
“It’s usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind.
“I’ve got what my ma had, macular degeneration, which you get when you get old.
“I had wet in one eye and dry in the other and they had to do these injections and I think it’s arrested it. I hope so.”
Macular Degeneration strikes older people, but
the disease starts in an insidious fashion decades
before the patient notices that he or she is losing sight.
The disease starts like Alzheimer’s Disease
with the laying down of strange molecules
in the retina of the eyes when the patient is
in their early forties.
That is the time to prevent it.
We must always remember that the diseases
of civilization, such as cardiovascular diseases,
diabetes, chronic lung diseases, arthritis, all
take decades to develop.
They start when you are twenty or thirty and
strike when you are fifty or sixty. They generally
take thirty years to be appreciated by the patient
as something bad and potentially deadly.
Trauma, such as car accidents can happen
in moments. Yet poor driving habits are born
of lazy attitudes developed in childhood. People
become unconcerned with hidden dangerous
of driving too fast or too close to other vehicles.
Most accidents are the results of laziness and
indifference—conditions instilled in children
by lazy and indifferent parents.
Cancers when they are found can
kill in months; but they too start early, laying
down “precursor” cells that ultimately explode.
They too are the results of patterns of behavior
instilled into children by parents who are not interested
in how their children behave or think.
Let us see how Macular Degeneration evolves..
The retina of the eye, like all parts of the body,
has a functional area and a blood circulation
which consists of arteries carrying fresh oxygenated
blood to the functional area and veins and lymphatic
vessels carrying the waste products of the metabolic
activity away from the functional area.
Every organ in our body uses the same system.
(In my book, Microcirculation, we will discuss the
sub-microscopic details of this system.)
What happens in the retina happens in your
heart, your brain and your lungs:
WASTE PRODUCTS ARE LEFT BEHIND AND
THEY ACCUMULATE OVER DECADES TO STOP
THE FUNCTIONING OF THE ORGAN.
The waste products left in the retina are
Drusen (singular, “druse”) are tiny yellow or white accumulations of extracellular material that build up in Bruch’s membrane of the eye. The presence of a few small (“hard”) drusen is normal with advancing age, and most people over 40 have some hard drusen.
If you have Drusen when you are forty, they probably
started accumulating when you were twenty or thirty.
But, what are Drusen? What does “Extra-cellular material” mean?
It seems that the Drusen are capsules of
carbohydrate metabolic byproducts that have
This inflammation can be partly prevented or
dampened by the Lutein and the Zeaxanthin
which help the metabolic processing of the
What we are seeing is a miniature form
of diabetes localized to the retina.
We know that people suffering from Diabetes
Mellitus type 2 have a higher incidence of
Macular Degeneration, and, also Alzheimer’s
There is an underlying pattern in our
body, just as there is an underlying pattern
in clouds in the sky.
Too much water in the air form clouds and
their patterns are changed by the winds.
Too many carbohydrate molecules in our
blood stream create by-products which
produce inflammation and damage everything
they touch, from nerves to arteries.
Think about it the next time you munch
on a potato chip.