Dr. Michael Lange Discussing Anti-Aging from 1-30-16

Ask the Doctor Radio Show from 01-09-16 with Dr. Michael Lange

Proper Nutrition and Dry Eyes

Proper Nutrition and Dry Eyes

Michael P. Lange OD, CNS, 10/24/2011

Dry eyes can be improved through proper nutrition. The vast majority of dry eye patients will notice a significant improvement in dry eye symptoms once the correct dietary and lifestyle modifications are implemented. Dry eye is a nutritionally responsive condition and this paper will discuss how proper diet and supplementation may improve subjective and objective signs and symptoms of dry eyes.

Most of our patients, whether fat or thin, are nutritionally compromised. Very rarely will you meet a patient that is of ideal body weight, medication free and on a truly healthful diet. As a clinician you will know at the first glance of your patient and after a brief discussion how critical a dramatic adjustment in their diet is going to be to their overall health and their dry eyes. Proper nutrition is one of the most important single factors in maintaining the health of our patients. Most people in today’s society are not getting the required vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids from the foods they are eating. We have become a society living ‘life on the go’ that is fueled by fast food and junk food. Our typical diet is caloric dense and nutrient deficient. Americans consume a diet that is unbalanced—with too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3 fatty acids—leading to increased inflammation and disease in the body. This is associated with increased levels of cytokines, proteins that trigger inflammation. Inflammation is one of the root causes of dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) and many other systemic diseases. Our foods are processed, sugar- and salt-laden, filled with trans fats, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, synthetic dyes, chemicals and artificial sweeteners. These poor nutritional habits combined with a sedimentary lifestyle are why the health of the American people (our patients) is becoming compromised. America is home to the most obese people in the world. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) obesity in adults has increased by 60% within the past twenty years. A staggering 70% of American adults are overweight or obese and obesity related deaths have accelerated to more than 300,000 a year, second only to tobacco related deaths.

Dietary modifications and lifestyle changes

Dr. Lange recommends everyone learn the 'dirty dozen' fruits and vegetables
Dr. Lange recommends everyone learn the ‘dirty dozen’ fruits and vegetables

Most nutritional experts recommend 10-13 servings of organically grown fruits and vegetables a day. Americans are falling short of this amount and are becoming more and more nutritionally compromised. 70% of adults are not even consuming five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. The population that consumes the least amount of vegetables and fruits are more predisposed in developing disease and illness. These large and growing groups of people are nutritionally compromised and more prone to develop free radical damage in their bodies and eyes. These are the patients who are more prone to have dry eyes, cataracts and retinal disease. I have seen in clinical practice for close to twenty years the positive effects dietary modifications and lifestyle changes can have directly on ocular health and total body health.

I have finally come to the realization that patients who will follow a combination of the Mediterranean, paleo or hunter gatherer type of diet, eating more like our ancestors, along with regular exercise and proper sleep benefit significantly. This is a diet that consists of organically grown fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, proteins and mainly water and a few other beverages. I recommend patients avoiding water that is in plastic bottles and drinking water that is filtered or in glass bottles due to the potential for bisphenols leaching into the water from the plastic. Bisphenols cause endocrine disruption which will compound a dry eye problem. Bisphenols are in plastic bottles as well as in canned foods. F, D and C red yellow and blue dye can also cause endocrine disruption and so should be avoided. Dyes are in just about everything we consume these days, so teach your patients to be proactive in their health and read labels. I recommend patients try to consume half their body weight in ounces of good quality water daily. I also advise patients to try to substitute their morning coffee with organic green tea and lemon. The antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects of green tea and lemon have significant health benefits and many of my patients will notice symptomatic relief of their dry eyes from this one simple step. I advise my patients to try to eat 10-13 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. I recommend “the dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables be only organically grown due to their high amounts of pesticide found inside this specific group. Most of us have an accumulated build up of pesticide exposure in our bodies due to numerous years of exposure. This “chemical burden” leads to a variety of serious health issues that may potentiate a dry eye condition. The protein in this particular type of diet should always be free range organically raised or wild, not farm raised! Try to get your patients to eat fish at least three times per week to improve the omega three to omega 6 ratio in their blood. The fish that is highest in omega three and lowest in potential contaminants are sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel, wild rainbow trout and wild Alaskan salmon. Some of your patients will follow your directions precisely; however the majority is going to wonder off of these specific recommendations. This is why supplementation with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids is so important.

Blood chemistry testing

How do you know the specific nutritional status of your patients without testing them? The only accurate way to test for these deficiencies is through blood testing. We will routinely do three special blood tests to gain valuable insight into the nutritional health of our patients. A SpectraCell intracellular blood test, vitamin D 25 OH and an omega-3 index test will help determine what your patient’s nutritional status is and if they have nutritionally modifiable risk factors for ocular conditions like dry eyes. You will quickly see that almost everyone you test is deficient in antioxidants and omega three. Many of these patients will also have elevated CRP, homocystein, triglycerides, cholesterol and arachidonic acid. The majority of these blood chemistries can be positively impacted through proper nutrition. The poor results on these tests can help motivate your patients to making these crucial dietary and lifestyle modifications that will positively impact their overall health. After reviewing the results of these tests with your patients they will finally understand the benefit of proper supplementation. Realistically, due to these tests not being covered by Medicare or insurance, not everyone will be able to have these tests done because of the cost. Let’s now review the specific protocol that is working extremely well with the dry eye population.

Omega-3 fish oil

The majority of large clinical studies that have documented the positive health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have utilized fish or fish oil consumption. There is a multitude of positive studies supporting the beneficial health aspects of a higher consumption of omega-3 from fish oil or fish. The medical community has readily embraced these positive health benefits and is prescribing and recommending fish oil supplements to their patients. The increased public awareness regarding omega 3 fish oil has created an omega-3 explosion. Consumers that are in tune with prevention and wellness are becoming proactive in their health and practicing prevention by consuming more fish or purchasing fish oil supplements from the drug store, health food store or through the Internet. However, one must be careful with consuming too much fish because of the potential contaminants that are in particular types of fish. With all of the contamination in the oceans it is becoming more and more difficult to recommend consuming large amounts of fish. The consumer or patient must also be aware that all fish oil is not created equal! The health care professional should be educating their patients on the benefits of proper omega-3 supplementation.


Fish Oil Demo with Dr Michael Lange
Ethyl ester based fish oil eats Styrofoam!

Omega-3 fish oil has two readily available forms: ethyl ester fish oil and triglyceride form fish oil. I recommend purchasing the triglyceride form fish oil over the ethyl ester version of omega-3 fish oil for a variety of reasons. The ethyl ester form of fish oil is highly unstable and therefore it can oxidize and become rancid quicker than the triglyceride form of fish oil. Many of the ethyl ester fish oils may become rancid before you purchase them. This is one of the reasons many people get a nasty aftertaste or have problems burping up an unpleasant fish taste from the ethyl ester form of fish oil. Studies also indicate that the triglyceride form omega-3 fish oil absorbs much faster and more efficiently therefore increasing bio availability. Most fish oil that is being sold OTC or as a prescription in the United States is the ethyl ester version because it is significantly less expensive to manufacture. The final phase in the purification of a triglyceride form of fish oil requires the ethyl ester molecule to be cleaved off and replaced with a triglyceride molecule, thus making it a more natural omega-3 fish oil than the ethyl ester version. The triglyceride form of omega-3 fish oils are extremely pure and concentrated making them the ideal choice for your patients. If you do not know if your fish oil is an ethyl ester version or triglyceride version you should call the customer service department on the back of the bottle. You can also squeeze the contents of your fish oil into a Styrofoam cup and watch for the chemical reaction. If the cup begins to dissolve after 10 to 20 minutes, then you have an ethyl ester form. However, some fish oils with very low concentrations of ethyl ester fish oil may not dissolve the cup. When shopping for the best triglyceride form fish oil, look for high levels of EPA and DHA. I recommend finding an omega-3 fish oil supplement that has an EPA between 400-450 per gel cap and a DHA around 250-300 per gel cap. These are the levels I have studied using the latest in omega-3 blood testing and have found that the consumption of two gel caps a day of this concentration can increase your omega index to a desirable level over 8%. This omega-3 index measures the concentration of EPA and DHA as a percent of total essential fatty acids in the red blood cell membranes. Recent research is proving that the desirable level for cardio protection is an omega index over 8%. This research claims that levels greater than 8% correlate with a 90% reduction in the potential for a fatal heart attack. The vast majority of Americans have an omega index closer to 4%.

Best sources of omega-3

Fortifeye Super Omega Fish Oil
Fortifeye Super Omega Fish Oil

My research team and I have tested a variety of omega-3 oils from flax, krill and ethyl ester fish oils and have not found nearly the improvements in the omega index with these other types of omega-3 fatty acids. So all omega-3 supplements are not created equal! Most of the inferior brands of fish oil and krill oil you can purchase OTC have no therapeutic value and won’t move the omega index very much. Many of the OTC fish oils are also filled with higher than the acceptable amounts of contaminants like PCB. Is this something you want to recommend to your patients? After years of study, a lot of trial and error and a one month research trip to Norway, I developed a highly purified triglyceride omega-3 fish oil concentrate with an outstanding 1600mg of omega-3 (EPA 860mg, DHA 580mg) in just two gel caps! The teams at Fortifeye Vitamins and the Omega 3 Test have been actively studying the influence of two daily capsules of this concentrated Super Omega on blood levels of omega-3 and the results have been astounding! After just thirty days, mean blood levels of omega-3 have increased from 4.2% to 9.1% with some patients as high as 11%! The results are a true testament to the benefits of proper levels of omega-3 supplementation. These are the levels that have produced positive results in our dry eye population. Most patients do quite well on two per day dosing of these levels and will start to experience symptomatic relief in 1-3 months. If the patient is over 250 lbs or has a significant dry eye problem I would recommend doubling the dosage. We have positive results using these levels of omega-3 fish oil with our MGD patients, those with recurrent hordeolums, conjunctivitis, chronic low grade uveitis, blepharitis and we are even seeing positive impact on our diabetic maculopathies and macular degeneration patients. Based on the current world wide research available, combined with the ongoing research being done at Fortifeye Vitamins, I feel the primary eye care provider should be making omega-3 recommendations to all of their patients. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the two principal EFAs (essential fatty acids) found in fish known as omega-3 fatty acids. The current research suggests the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil may help with dry eye syndrome. EPA generates the anti-inflammatory eicosanoids prostaglandin E3 and leukotriene B5. If the concentration of EPA is high enough the EPA blocks the delta-5 desaturase enzymatic step that stops the conversion of omega-6 EFAs to the inflammatory cascade of arachidonic acid (AA). This allows more conversion to anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). PGE1 then binds to EP2 and EP4 receptors to activate adenylate cyclase and increase cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate) which in turn stimulates a healthier tear production. DHA also decreases production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and helps to balance the body’s response to inflammation. Both EPA and DHA contribute to reducing inflammation in somewhat different but complementary mechanisms. The increase in omega-3 EFAs has also shown to improve dysfunction in the meibomian gland with a much thinner and clearer meibomian gland secretion, thus helping with meibomian gland dysfunction. The increased consumption of a triple molecularly distilled and concentrated triglyceride form omega-3 fish oil will help to get the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 in better harmony and allows for less inflammation in the body and eyes. Americans have too high a percentage of pro-inflammatory omega-6 in their diet. The addition of some good omega-3 fish oil is the start to a healthier body and visual system.

Astaxanthin

Fortifeye Focus
Fortifeye Focus – An astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin super carotenoid supplement designed and recommended by Dr. Michael Lange, OD CNS.

A relatively new nutrient used in supplements that comes from the micro alga haematococcus pluvialis, astaxanthin is proving to have multiple health benefits. The super carotenoid astaxanthin is the reason lobsters, shrimp, crabs and wild salmon have a reddish color. Astaxanthin is an extremely potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Clinical studies have now proven that 6mg of astaxanthin can improve the blood flow to the eye and actually aid in accommodation (focusing) and in reducing eye fatigue. Astaxanthin reduces inflammatory markers such as C reactive protein (CRP), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Astaxanthin is documented with high potencies for neutralizing oxygen radicals. For example, it is 550 times more powerful than vitamin E and 40 times more powerful than beta-carotene against singlet oxygen radicals. These remarkable aspects of astaxanthin are why Fortifeye Vitamins and The Lange Eye Institute are involved in some ongoing clinical blood studies to look more carefully at the anti inflammatory properties of astaxanthin. Early data shows that when combined with Fortifeye Super Omega, 6 mg of astaxanthin is lowering arachidonic acid levels more than the fish oil alone. Studies also indicate that astaxanthin may help in muscle recovery and reduce muscle fatigue. Many patients taking supplemental astaxanthin have also noticed the sun block properties this powerful antioxidant exhibits. Astaxanthin has also been linked to healthier skin and less fine lines and wrinkles have been documented after taking astaxanthin for a few months. Astaxanthin is a truly unique nutrient with some incredible health benefits. I have been very impressed with the potential ocular and overall health benefits of astaxanthin. Dry eye and eye fatigue often times go hand in hand especially in computer vision syndrome (CVS). The typical patient that comes in complaining of eyes that feel tired, fatigued, dry, sandy and gritty after working on the computer for prolonged periods of time are the ones that will benefit from adding 6mg of astaxanthin to their supplement regiment. I will usually start these patients on a combination of omega-3 fish oil and 6 mg of astaxanthin and after three months many of these patients’ symptoms have resolved or improved significantly. These patients will also commonly report an improvement in many other areas: less joint pain, healthier skin, improved energy, improved muscle recovery, more endurance, improvement in focusing and many more. I have seen a synergy with triglyceride form fish oil while using astaxanthin in my dry eye population. If patients are not experiencing the relief they are looking for on omega-3 supplementation alone I will add 6 mg of astaxanthin and see the patient back in three months for follow up. I have been amazed at the positive feedback I have received from these patients. Not only are these patients improving subjectively but their objective signs of dry eye are also improving. I think astaxanthin has a place in eye care especially for the patients who are looking for a more natural approach to help with their dry tired eyes. Think about how many patients the combination of omega-3 and astaxanthin may help in your practice. Just about everyone these days is experiencing some form of dry and fatigued eye symptomology throughout the day. Patients are grateful when you help solve their complaints without recommending surgery or medication.

Gamma-linolenic acid

The moderate to marked dry eye patients may need one additional nutrient in conjunction with the omega-3 and astaxanthin to maximize the nutritional approach for dry eyes. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid (EFA) in the omega-6 family that is found mainly in plant seed oils. The three most common plant seed oils where GLA are found are borage seed oil, black currant oil and evening primrose oil. GLA is broken down in the body to dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA). DGLA competes with AA and prevents the negative inflammatory effects that AA would otherwise cause. Adequate amounts of magnesium, zinc and vitamins C, B3 and B6 help to promote the conversion of GLA to DGLA rather than AA. It is fairly rare that our patients will have deficiencies in these areas if eating the appropriate foods. However, many of our patients are not getting the appropriate nutrition in their diet and must supplement with a good whole body anti-oxidant. Running a SpectraCell nutritional blood panel may help find many surprising nutritional deficiencies your patients have. Researchers in Japan have shown that astaxanthin may suppress the cyclooxygenase enzyme and decrease the amount of pro-inflammatory PGE2 produced. Once the AA pathway is blocked the DGLA is free to convert to anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and stimulation of tear production occurs. Recent studies suggest that oral GLA supplementation improved dry eye both clinically and subjectively in patients with dry eye syndrome. Studies also show that patients who take a combination of linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) prior to and after refractive surgery may have better tear production and less dry eye complications. Studies utilizing GLA and omega -3 fish oil have shown an additive anti-inflammatory effect with no elevation in arachidonic acid. Due to the extremely high amounts of omega-6 in most diets I began studying different ratios of omega-3 and GLA and have decided to use a ratio of approximately 10 to 1 omega-3 to omega-6 (GLA) to maximize the anti-inflammatory effects and gain full advantage of both types of essential fatty acids. If the ratio of omega-6 (GLA) to omega-3 is too high in the omega-6 direction then the possibility of more inflammation related to the high omega-6 low omega-3 ratio exists. Currently for my more advanced dry eye cases I have been using 1600 mg of triglyceride form omega-3, 160 mg of GLA from black currant seed oil, 6mg of astaxanthin and a good whole body anti-oxidant with great results. These patients not only experience ocular health benefits but also notice many general health benefits as well. It is time that both optometrists and ophthalmologists start to utilize the power of proper nutrition to help their patients. It is a win-win for everyone involved.

I really think having educational information as well as supplements available at your office is the smart way to go. This enables the doctor to have some control over the quality of supplements the patient is taking. Once the patient walks out of your door they may buy the cheapest thing they can find on the Internet or warehouse club that has no therapeutic value whatsoever! Educating your entire staff on the importance of proper nutrition is very important as well. Everyone from the front desk to the technicians should be educated on the benefits of proper nutrition. It is a team approach.

Dr. Michael P. Lange, O.D., C.N.S.
Dr. Michael P. Lange
Board Certified Optometric Physician and Board Certified Nutritional Specialist

Dr. Michael P. Lange, OD CNS
Board Certified Optometric Physician
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Syndicated Daily Talk Show Host (Ask the Doctor)
CEO and founder of Lange Eye Care and Associates
CEO and founder of the Lange Eye Institute
CEO of Lange Sun and Nutrition Centers
www.langeeyecare.com
www.fortifeye.com
www.drmichaellange.com
October 24, 2011

 

Lange Eye Care Locations

Gainesville Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
3968 SW Archer Road W101
Gainesville, Florida 32608
Phone: 352-376-6622

Ocala Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
3101 SW College Road
Ocala, Florida 34474
Phone: 352-237-3768

Triple Crown Plaza Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
11100 SW 93rd Court Road
Suite 15
Ocala, Florida 34481
Phone: 352-291-2000

Summerfield Office
Lange Eye Care Vision Outlet Center
Unit #604 Highway 441S
Summerfield, Florida
Phone: 352-307-3273

Inverness Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
3808 E. Gulf to Lake Highway
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-344-5110

Clearwater Offices
Lange Eye Care Optical Gallery & LASIK Center
23666 U. S. Highway 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: 727-791-1214

Lange Sun and Nutrition Center
2551 Drew Street
Suite 302
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: 727-216-6275

Williston Office
Lange Eye Care And Associates
129 S. W. 7th Street
Williston, FL 32696
Phone: 352-528-0433

The Villages Office
Lange Eye Institute
466 and CR101
The Villages, Florida
Phone: 352-753-4014

 

 

 

 

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More information: Dr. Michael P. Lange is a Board Certified Optometric Physician and a Certified Nutrition Specialist who started Lange Eye Care and Associates in Ocala, Florida, in March 1993. Lange Eye Care has grown to nine locations throughout the state of Florida with three Lasik centers. The Lange Eye Institute at The Villages in central Florida is home base for many of the nutritional studies that Fortifeye is involved in. Dr. Lange is one of the first doctors in the industry to utilize intracellular blood tests and blood absorption studies to improve the Fortifeye vitamin line. Dr. Lange travels the world for nutritional research gathering valuable information to continuously improve Fortifeye vitamin formulations. Dr. Lange is still involved in the clinical practice of eyecare. He is a guest lecturer, contributing author to many eyecare magazines, and a daily syndicated talk show host of ‘Ask The Doctor’ which broadcasts every weekday at 9am and Saturdays at 2pm from Tampa Bay on radio stations throughout the country and video streaming all over the world via the Internet.

 

 

 

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Fortifeye Complete Plus | Click To Order
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Fortifeye Super Omega-3 Fish Oil
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All Fortifeye products are produced in a GMP, FDA and NNFA inspected facility that supplies products to the nutraceutical industry. Fortifeye is also approved by the Therapeutics Goods Association, the leading regulatory authority for nutraceuticals world wide and by NSF.

 

 

A Special Vitamin Formula For Dry Eye Syndrome

Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme relieves symptoms of dry eyes, tired eyes and dry eye syndrome with triglyceride based omega-3 fish oil. Balance between omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, combination of vitamin D, black currant oil, and astaxanthin improves tear production and provides relief from dry, tired eyes and eye strain for computer users.

Michael P. Lange O.D. C.N.S. reviews new dry eye/ tired eye management with proper supplementation from Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme, a new dry eye therapy that is doctor formulated and has been carefully designed to utilize the benefits of combining omega 3 fish oil, gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and astaxanthin. Available in 2012.

 

A Special Vitamin Formula By Fortifeye For Dry Eye Syndrome

New relief in dry eyes and tired eyes – Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme for natural dry eye relief

Dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is an imbalance between tear production and tear drainage. This condition affects nearly 60 million Americans.

Dr. Lange at the Norway fish oil factory, tweaking his formula.
Dr. Lange at the Norway fish oil factory, tweaking his formula.

What are dry eye symptoms? Eyes that are red, that feel sandy, gritty or burn, or that tear and itch can be symptoms of dry eyes. Fluctuation in vision, contact lens intolerance and recurrent infections can also be related to dry eyes. Dry red eyes, dry itchy eyes, dry sore eyes, dry burning eyes and dry tired eyes are oftentimes the chief complaints of patients coming into see an eye care provider, urgent care center or primary care physician.

Dry eye syndrome and the causes of dry, itchy eyes

Dry eye syndrome is often misdiagnosed as a form of conjunctivitis or pink eye and sufferers are put on unnecessary medications. Many patients with chronic dry eyes or severe dry eyes are looking for a magical cure for dry eyes and see a multitude of different eye and health providers in search for a dry eye cure. There is no cure for dry eye syndrome, however dry eye treatment can be initiated by an eye care provider and proper nutrition can help manage these chronic dry eye patients quite well. What are some examples of dry eye causes? Many things can cause dry eyes such as environmental factors, job, medications, contact lenses, systemic health problems, age and eye surgery. Currently, artificial tears and prescription topical medications are the gold standard for the treatment of dry eyes. In treating dry eyes it is important to address the entire system and not just treat topically. More and more evidence now suggests that proper nutrition may help to decrease the symptoms of dry eye and give significant dry eye relief.

“Dry eye symptoms will affect the majority of us at some time in our lives.”

A balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, black currant oil, vitamins and astaxanthin

Dr. Lange inspecting the manufacturing facility for Fortifeye Super Omega-3 Fish Oil.
Dr. Lange inspecting the manufacturing facility for Fortifeye Super Omega-3 Fish Oil.

Oral supplementation with essential fatty acids (EFAs) via omega-3 fish oils and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is now rapidly becoming an effective tool that optometrists and ophthalmologists are using in clinical practice to help with dry eyes. A synergistic balance between omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs seems to work best for dye eye patients. A lot of time and research on the benefits of omega-3, omega-6, GLA, astaxanthin and various other complementary nutrients has gone into the reformulation of Fortifeye’s newest product called Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme.

Fortifeye’s first dry eye product was called Fortifeye Dry Eye Therapy and was used for years with great success, however the Fortifeye team consisting of physicians from all aspects of health care wanted to make a good thing even better. Fortifeye discontinued their current dry eye therapy product and developed a much more bioavailable and more concentrated omega three fish oil called Fortifeye Super Omega. This is a triglyceride based omega-3 fish oil with an EPA of 860 and DHA of 580 in two gel caps. This fish oil has been used successfully alone to help many dry eye patients with mild to moderate dry eye. Fortifeye decided to add some additional nutrients to further enhance the effects of the product and potentially help the moderate to severe dry eye patients. After careful research black currant oil, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and a super carotenoid called astaxanthin were added to the Fortifeye Super Omega fish oil product creating Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme.

Triglyceride based fish oil when combined with astaxanthin

Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme is the first in the industry to use high levels of triglyceride based fish oil combined with GLA from black currant oil and astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a relatively new nutrient used in supplements that comes from microalga Haematococcus pluvialis and is proving to have multiple health benefits. The carotenoid astaxanthin is the reason lobsters, shrimp and some crabs turn red when cooked. While it constitutes a tiny portion of farm-raised salmon feed (50 to 100 parts per million), astaxanthin represents up to 20 percent of the cost. Astaxanthin is an extremely potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Clinical studies have now proven that 6mg of astaxanthin can improve the blood flow to the eye and actually aid in accommodation (focusing) and in reducing eye fatigue. Astaxanthin reduces inflammatory markers such as nitric oxide synthase (NOS), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These remarkable aspects of astaxanthin are why Fortifeye Vitamins has incorporated it into their new dry eye vitamin formula called Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme.

Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme is a new dry eye therapy that is doctor formulated and has been carefully designed to utilize the benefits of combining omega 3 fish oil, gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and astaxanthin.
– Michael P. Lange O.D, C.N.S.

Vitamin D deficiency

Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme is now recommended for patients with dry eyes and tired eyes. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein found in the blood, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation. Vitamin D deficiency is quite common in America. Patients with vitamin D deficiency are more prone to have elevated CRP and elevated TNF (tumor necrosis factor) and have an increased risk of inflammatory diseases in the body. Vitamin D deficiency is now being linked to many eye related problems. Vitamin D3 has been added to help quell this inflammation. Relatively new research has also indicated that vitamin C along with its antioxidant benefits is capable of lowering C-reactive protein as well. Because of this potential added benefit, vitamin C has also been added along with vitamin D3.

Triple molecularly distilled to remove PCBs and other pollutants

Research has found that high dietary intake of omega-3 EFAs (essential fatty acids) decreases the risk of dry eyes. One must be very careful today when increasing their levels of omega-3 EFAs by consuming more fish. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are persistent organic pollutants banned in 1979 but still present in ocean waters. Even fish that are caught in the Arctic regions can be contaminated due to the fact that airborne contaminants within the atmosphere will condense at lower temperatures and precipitate into this environment. Fish can be contaminated with mercury, lead, PCBs, dyes and other contaminants. Molecularly distilled fish oil is a convenient and safe way of getting the omega-3 EFAs and removing pollutants. We would never consider using fish oils that have not been refined to reduce contaminant levels to an undetectable amount.

The benefits of omega-3 fish oil to reduce inflammation

Dr. Lange and Dr. Eiji Yamashita, a world authority on a super carotenoid currently being utilized in new vitamin formulations.
Dr. Lange and Dr. Eiji Yamashita, a world authority on a super carotenoid currently being utilized in new vitamin formulations.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the two principal EFAs (essential fatty acids) found in fish known as omega-3 fatty acids. The current research suggests the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil may help with dry eye syndrome. EPA generates the anti-inflammatory eicosanoids prostaglandin E3 and leukotriene B5. If the concentration of EPA is high enough the EPA blocks the delta-5 desaturase enzymatic step that stops the conversion of omega-6 EFAs to the inflammatory cascade of arachidonic acid (AA). This allows more conversion to anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). PGE1 then binds to EP2 and EP4 receptors to activate adenylate cyclase and increase cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate) which in turn stimulates a healthier tear production. The increase in omega-3 EFAs have also shown to improve dysfunction in the meibomian gland with a much thinner and clearer meibomian gland secretion thus helping with meibomian gland dysfunction. The increased consumption of a triple molecularly distilled and concentrated omega-3 fish oil will help to get the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 in better harmony and allows for less inflammation in the body and eyes. Americans have a much too high percentage of pro-inflammatory omega-6 in their diet. The addition of a good omega-3 fish oil is the start to a healthier body and visual system.

Dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is an imbalance between tear production and tear drainage. This condition affects nearly 60 million Americans.

Omega-6 and astaxanthin for improved tear production

Liquid fish oil being filled into bottles.
Liquid fish oil being filled into bottles.

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid (EFA) in the omega-6 family that is found mainly in plant seed oils. The three most common plant seed oils where GLA are found are borage seed oil, black currant oil and evening primrose oil. GLA is broken down in the body to dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA). DGLA competes with AA and prevents the negative inflammatory effects that AA would otherwise cause. Adequate amounts of magnesium, zinc and vitamins C, B3 and B6 help to promote the conversion of GLA to DGLA rather than AA. Researchers in Japan have shown that astaxanthin may suppress the cyclooxygenase enzyme and decrease the amount of pro-inflammatory PGE2 produced. Once the AA pathway is blocked the DGLA is free to convert to anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and stimulation of tear production occurs. Recent studies suggest that oral GLA supplementation improved dry eye both clinically and subjectively in patients with dry eye syndrome. Studies also show that patients who take a combination of linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) prior to and after refractive surgery may have better tear production and less dry eye complications. Studies utilizing GLA and omega -3 fish oil have shown an additive anti-inflammatory effect with no elevation in arachidonic acid. Due to the extremely high amounts of omega-6 in most diets, Fortifeye has decided to use a ratio of approximately 10 to 1 omega-3 to omega-6 to maximize the anti-inflammatory effects and gain full advantage of both types of essential fatty acids. If the ratio of omega-6 (GLA) to omega-3 is too high in the omega-6 direction then the possibility of more inflammation related to the high omega-6 low omega-3 ratio exists.

Relief for dry eye sufferers through the latest research

The potential benefits for current and future dry eye sufferers from a carefully designed oral nutritional supplement for dry eye is huge. Fortify Vitamins Inc. has developed a synergistic blend of triple distilled omega-3 triglyceride based fish oil, plus gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from black currant oil, astaxanthin, vitamin D and other nutritional cofactors that is based on the latest research. This formula combines all of the latest developments in nutrition necessary to aid in the alleviation of signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome and eye fatigue. Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme is doctor-formulated and has been carefully designed to utilize these nutrients synergistically. Fortifeye vitamins are currently being used by thousands of patients around the world with great success. This formula is great for patients to use prior to and after Lasik and cataract surgery to help minimize post operative dry eye symptoms and inflammation. Many dry eye contact lens intolerant patients may benefit from using this supplement.

“Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme could very well be the future of dry eye therapy.”
– Michael P. Lange O.D. C.N.S.

Computers users, eye strain and dry eye fatigue

A large population that may be helped from this new health supplement is the computer users. Computer use generates significant eye strain and dry eyes. Computer related dry eyes and eye fatigue ultimately leads to a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme may be just what computer users have been waiting for.

The future therapy for dry and tired eyes

Patients who have been diagnosed with dry eye syndrome who want to be proactive in the health of their eyes should consider the natural approach at managing dry eyes with Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme. This formula is being used clinically along with traditional medical treatment to help decrease the severity of many inflammatory eye problems. Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme could very well be the future therapy for dry eye and tired eyes. Many patients that have dry mouth and chronic joint pain have also benefited from the nutrients in Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme. Give it a try and see what it can do for you.

Multiple revisions in the formula of Fortifeye Dry Eye Extreme have delayed its release. We hope to have it available in early 2012.

Michael P. Lange, O.D.
Dr. Michael P. Lange
Board Certified Optometric Physician and Board Certified Nutritional Specialist

Dr. Michael P. Lange
Board Certified Optometric Physician
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Syndicated Daily Talk Show Host (Ask the Doctor)
www.langeeyecare.com
www.fortifeye.com
May 5, 2010

 

 

 

Author: Dr. Michael P. Lange is a Board Certified Optometric Physician and a Certified Nutrition Specialist who started Lange Eye Care and Associates in Ocala, Florida, in March 1993. Lange Eye Care has grown to nine locations throughout the state of Florida with three Lasik centers. The Lange Eye Institute at The Villages in central Florida is home base for many of the nutritional studies that inspired the Fortifeye Brand of vitamin supplements. Dr. Lange is one of the first doctors in the industry to utilize intracellular blood tests and blood absorption studies to improve the Fortifeye vitamin line. Dr. Lange travels the world for nutritional research gathering valuable information to continuously improve Fortifeye vitamin formulations. Dr. Lange is still involved in the clinical practice of eyecare. He is a guest lecturer, contributing author to many eyecare magazines, and a daily syndicated talk show host of ‘Ask The Doctor’ which broadcasts every weekday at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. from Tampa Bay on radio stations throughout the country and video streaming all over the world via the Internet. Detailed information on the nutritional research Dr. Lange has been involved in, and the eye vitamins and whole body formulas he has formulated, are at www.Fortifeye.com. If you are looking for a great group of eye doctors in Florida go to www.LangeEyeCare.com. For more, read this article about Dr. Michael Lange, Ocala optometrist involved in research on nutrition and UV protection, or read this biography of Dr. Michael Lange, Ocala eye doctor (optometrist).

 


 

REFERENCES

Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology (2003). Research Symposium Findings. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 4-9, program numbers 811, 2111, and 2112.

Barham JB et al (2000). Addition of EPA to GLA-supplemented diets prevents serun AA accumulation in humans Nutrition, August (130), 1925-31.

Barham JB, Edens MB, et al. Addition of Eicosapentanoic Acid to Gamma-linolenic acid? Supplemental Diets Prevents Serum Arachidonic Acid Accumulation in Humans. J of Nutrtion, 2001; 130: 1925-1931

Block G, Jensen CD, Dalvi TB, Norkus EP, Hudes M, Crawford PB, Holland N, Fung EB, Schumacher L, Harmatz P, Vitamin C treatment reduces elevated C-reactive protein. University of California, Berkeley, 94720, USA

Brown NA, et al (1998). Nutrition supplements and the eye. Eye, 12, 127-133.

J. Dyerberg, P. Madsen, J Moller, I. Aardestrup, E. B. Schmidt, Bioavailability of n-3 fatty acid formulations; N-3 Fatty Acids; Prevention and Treatment in Vascular Disease, 1995 : 217-226

Iwasaki & Tawara, (2006). Effects of Astaxanthin on Eyestrain Induced by Accommodative Dysfunction. Journal of Eye (Atarashii Ganka) (6):829-834.

Miljanovic B, Trivedi KA, Dana MR, et al. Relation between dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and clinically diagnosed dry eye syndrome in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82:887-893.

Miyawaki et al., (2005). Effects of astaxanthin on human blood rheology. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(4):421-429.

Nagaki Y., et al., (2002). Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation, critical flicker fusions, and pattern evoked potential in visual display terminal workers. J. Trad. Med., 19(5):170-173.

Nagaki et al. (2005). The effects of astaxanthin on retinal capillary

Nagaki et al., (2006). The supplementation effect of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 22(1):41-54.

Nakamura et al. (2004). Changes in Visual Function Following Peroral Astaxanthin. Japan J. Clin. Opthal., 58(6):1051-1054.

Nitta et al. (2005). Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia – Dose finding study in healthy volunteers. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(6):637-650.

Ohgami et al., (2003). Effects of astaxanthin on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo. Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci., 44(6):2694-2701.

Sawaki, K. et al. (2002) Sports performance benefits from taking natural astaxanthin characterized by visual activity and muscle fatigue improvements in humans. J. Clin. Ther. Med., 18(9):73-88.

Shimizu S et al (1991). Sesamin is a potent and specific inhibitor of delta 5 desaturase in polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis. Lipids. Aug, 26(7), 512-6.

Shiratori et al. (2005). Effect of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia – Efficacy identification study in healthy volunteers. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(5):543-556.

Suzuki et al., (2006). Suppressive effects of astaxanthin against rat endotoxin-induced uveitis by inhibiting the NF-kB signaling pathway. Exp. Eye Res., 82:275-281.

Takahashi & Kajita (2005). Effects of astaxanthin on accommodative recovery. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(4):431-436. blood flow in normal volunteers. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(5):537-542.

Thornton A (2003). Nutrients restore tear function in dry eye syndrome. Ophthalmology Times, May 12, special section.

Tobias Pischon, Susan Hankinson, Gokhan Hotamisligil, Nader Rifai, Walter Willett and Eric Rimm (2003) Habitual Dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in relation to inflammatory markers among US men and women. Circulation 2003; 108;155-160

Wu D, et al (1999). Effect of dietary supplement with black currant seed oil on the immune response of healthy elderly subjects. American Journal Clinical Nutrition, 70, 536-543.

 

 

Order Fortifeye™ vitamins by clicking below:

 

Fortifeye Complete Plus | Click To Order
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Fortifeye™ Complete Plus

Fortifeye™ Complete Plus is an advanced formulation based on the latest clinical studies. It is a combination of synergistically blended whole foods, phytonutients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and essential fatty acids. When combined with proper diet, exercise and a healthy life style Fortifeye™ Complete Plus lays the foundation for good eye and total body health.

Dosage: 2 tablets + 1 softgel/day
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Fortifeye Super Omega-3 Fish Oil
Fortifeye™ Super Omega 3 Fish Oil

Fortifeye™ Super Omega-3 Fish Oil is the newest, most concentrated and purified Omega Three Fish Oil by Fortifeye™
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Fortifeye™ FOCUS

Fortifeye™ FOCUS is a combination of three carotenoids—astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Clinical studies indicate that 6mg of astaxanthin reduces eye fatigue symptomology and actually improves amplitude of accommodation, the eye’s ability to focus clearly on objects at near distances. This new formulation was developed to help reduce accommodative stress due to prolonged working at a near focal length. Fortifeye FOCUS is recommended for individuals who experience eye fatigue with near point tasks or after prolonged work on a computer. Fortifeye FOCUS can be used alone or in combination with any of the Fortifeye™ Vitamins.

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Fortifeye™ Complete One-A-Day is a powerhouse combination of 50 total body and vision specific nutrients all combined into one USP certified tablet. Fortifeye™ Complete One-A-Day multivitamin has been created by doctors who understand that quality counts. Fortifeye™ Complete One-A-Day can be used alone or in combination with Fortifeye™ Super Omega 3 Fish Oil or Fortifeye™ Dry Eye Therapy Extreme to combat against free radical damage in the eyes and body.

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Fortifeye™ Complete Macular Defense

Fortifeye™ Complete Macular Defense vitamins are the newest, most advanced nutraceuticals for your eyes and body, which provide purified Natural Triglyceride omega three fish oil, along with lutein and zeaxanthin for vision support. This formula provides the equivalent in antioxidant power to 15-17 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 30 mg of lutein and 4.75 mg of zeaxanthin.

Dosage: 3 tablets + 1 softgel/day
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All Fortifeye products are produced in a GMP, FDA and NNFA inspected facility that supplies products to the nutraceutical industry. Fortifeye is also approved by the Therapeutics Goods Association, the leading regulatory authority for nutraceuticals world wide and by NSF.

 

 

Lange Eye Care Locations

Gainesville Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
3968 SW Archer Road W101
Gainesville, Florida 32608
Phone: 352-376-6622

Ocala Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
3101 SW College Road
Ocala, Florida 34474
Phone: 352-237-3768

Triple Crown Plaza Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
11100 SW 93rd Court Road
Suite 15
Ocala, Florida 34481
Phone: 352-291-2000

Summerfield Office
Lange Eye Care Vision Outlet Center
Unit #604 Highway 441S
Summerfield, Florida
Phone: 352-307-3273

Inverness Office
Lange Eye Care and Associates
3808 E. Gulf to Lake Highway
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-344-5110

Clearwater Offices
Lange Eye Care Optical Gallery & LASIK Center
23666 U. S. Highway 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: 727-791-1214

Lange Sun and Nutrition Center
2551 Drew Street
Suite 302
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: 727-216-6275

Williston Office
Lange Eye Care And Associates
129 S. W. 7th Street
Williston, FL 32696
Phone: 352-528-0433

The Villages Office
Lange Eye Institute
466 and CR101
The Villages, Florida
Phone: 352-753-4014

 

 

 

 

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More information: Dr. Michael P. Lange is a Board Certified Optometric Physician and a Certified Nutrition Specialist who started Lange Eye Care and Associates in Ocala, Florida, in March 1993. Lange Eye Care has grown to nine locations throughout the state of Florida with three Lasik centers. The Lange Eye Institute at The Villages in central Florida is home base for many of the nutritional studies that Fortifeye is involved in. Dr. Lange is one of the first doctors in the industry to utilize intracellular blood tests and blood absorption studies to improve the Fortifeye vitamin line. Dr. Lange travels the world for nutritional research gathering valuable information to continuously improve Fortifeye vitamin formulations. Dr. Lange is still involved in the clinical practice of eyecare. He is a guest lecturer, contributing author to many eyecare magazines, and a daily syndicated talk show host of ‘Ask The Doctor’ which broadcasts every weekday at 9am and Saturdays at 2pm from Tampa Bay on radio stations throughout the country and video streaming all over the world via the Internet.

 

 

 

Changes in Diet, Vitamins and Lifestyle Modifications To Help Macular Degeneration

How Can Changes in Diet, Vitamins and Lifestyle Modifications Help Macular Degeneration?
Vitamin therapy and lifestyle modifications have proven to be extremely valuable at helping to stabilize Macular Degeneration.

Dr, Michael P. Lange, Board Certified Optometric Physician
and Board Certified Nutritional Specialist
Lange Eye Care and Associates / Lange Eye Institute
12/27/2009

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision impairment for people over the age of 55 in the United States.

Fortifeye Complete Macular Defense pillMacular Degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in the United States in the over 55 age group. Currently there are close to two million people living in our country that are vision impaired from macular degeneration. With our population living longer and longer it is estimated that over 3 million people by 2020 will have Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). By then each of us will know someone that has lost their vision from macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a medical condition that causes degeneration of the central part of the retina called the macula.

There are two basic types of Age Related Macular Degeneration:
1. Wet ARMD or neovascular ARMD, which means abnormal growth of new blood vessels which grow into the retina and leak causing edema and atrophy of the central retina.
2. Dry ARMD or non-neovascular ARMD. The dry form of macular degeneration is the most common type with around 85%-90% of sufferers having the dry form.

The wet form of macular degeneration is the most destructive and the onset can be fairly rapid. The dry form of ARMD can slowly steal a patients central vision until they become legally blind. Optometrists and Ophthalmologists work on new therapiesAn estimate of about 20% of dry ARMD can turn into wet ARMD. Some people may have an increased risk of developing macular degeneration because of their genetic makeup. However, most cases of macular degeneration are probably related to a combination of genetics, poor nutrition, sedimentary lifestyle and environmental factors. Significant research in the area of macular degeneration looks very promising. The evolving therapies the Board Certified Optometrists and Ophthalmologists have developed bring new hope for anyone diagnosed with ARMD. These new therapies may halt, improve or even cure forms of macular degeneration. Ongoing research in macular degeneration is constantly revealing new ways to help the macular degenerative patient and maintains a very high level of hope for the future care of ARMD. Ultimately we look forward to a future where macular degeneration no longer poses a threat to vision.

What can be done to decrease the risk of going blind from Macular Degeneration?

Keeping an eye on Macular DegenerationNutritional intervention and lifestyle modifications may be beneficial at helping to stabilize macular degeneration. I have personally seen thousands of patients with macular degeneration in clinical practice for over 18 years. I have seen the positive benefits that patients can realistically obtain thru nutritional intervention and lifestyle modifications. Many patients with macular degeneration are benefiting dramatically from visiting an eye care provider that is in tune with the latest in nutritional therapy. Doctors from all over the world are using dietary modifications, introduction of nutraceuticals and lifestyle changes to aid the patient with macular degeneration. These doctors have seen some incredible improvements in vision as well as overall health in these patients. Optometrists and ophthalmologists often times utilize intracellular and plasma blood testing along with advanced retinal imaging to help determine if a patient may have modifiable risk factors for macular degeneration. Some of these modifiable risk factors include elevated c-reactive protein, elevated cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, elevated homocysteine, lipofuscin pigment accumulation and nutritional deficiencies. The following is a list of 17 steps that can be utilized to decrease the risk of having progressive visual loss from macular degeneration. This list was compiled based on solid scientific evidence reported in related literature and from positive results we have seen clinically in several very large macular degeneration practices. This does not replace a comprehensive dilated eye examination by a board certified optometrist or ophthalmologist.

1. Eat wild Alaskan salmon for healthFollow a low fat diet. Decrease saturated fats and trans fatty acids. Eat more turkey, chicken , cold water fish and soy products like Garden Burgers (a popular vegetarian meat substitute), soy milk and tofu. Eat less corn fed beef, whole milk and cheese. Eat the breast meat of chicken and turkey from free roaming organically raised sources (if possible), and prepare without deep frying. Broiling, grilling, boiling or baking is healthier. Eat more fish (omega-3) but be careful when eating fish because many large fish have toxic levels of mercury, lead and PCBs (PCBs are persistent organic pollutants, banned since 1977, that entered the environment through both original use and later disposal). Eat cold water fish (sardines, tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Atlantic halibut, herring and wild—not farmed—salmon). Try to avoid farm raised fish and instead eat wild fish especially wild Alaskan salmon. Wild salmon are high in a super carotenoid called astaxanthin that is proving to be a key nutrient in the nutritional approach for macular degeneration. A lean organically raised GRASS FED steak in moderation is a good source of protein, Vitamin B complex, zinc, iron, folate, magnesium, selenium and omega-3 essential fatty acids. A good source of grass fed organic beef is www.grassisgood.com. Omega-6 fats predominate in commercially-raised (corn-fed) meat, poultry, dairy and eggs; and also in nuts, seeds, margarine, and vegetable oils (such as corn, peanut, canola, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and grape seed oils). Omega-6 increases inflammation in the body! Olive oil is an omega-9 and is beneficial; it should be the primary bottled oil in the kitchen for use in cooking and salad dressings. The typical American diet provides 10-20 times more omega-6 than omega-3, but a healthier ratio is 3:1 or 4:1! Cut back on your omega-6 (choosing healthy omega-6 foods like nuts, seeds, and avocado) and increase omega-3.

2. Spinach is a dark green leafy vegetableConsume more dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, collards and swiss chard (preferably organically grown). Carefully boil, steam or simmer these in extra virgin olive oil. Gentle cooking helps to break down the cell wall releasing the bio-availability of the greens. Juicing is also a good way of getting these nutrients. Lutein is abundant in dark green leafy vegetables and has been shown to potentially help slow down the devastating properties of macular degeneration. Lutein and its related compound zeaxanthin are highly concentrated in the macula, providing a yellow color known as the macular pigment (MP).The macular pigment acts like a built in sun screen and protects the macula from the damaging photo-oxidative effects of blue light. Eating more foods that contain lutein and/or taking a supplement with 10-30 mg of lutein daily will help replenish the macula pigment density that you are more prone to loose as you age with macular degeneration. If you are taking a blood thinner like Coumadin, consult with your physician prior to eating more dark green leafy vegetables.

3. Orange bell peppers are high in zeaxanthinEat more orange bell peppers (preferably organically grown), gently cooked or raw. Orange bell peppers are very high in zeaxanthin. Scientists believe this nutrient when combined with lutein helps filter out dangerous HEV light (blue light) and may help maintain macular health. Sauté spinach and orange bell peppers together in extra virgin olive oil for good macular health. Goji berries are also one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants that has a very high concentration of zeaxanthin. Goji berry is one of the richest edible plant sources known for zeaxanthin content. Up to 77% of total carotenoids present in goji berry exist as zeaxanthin. Both goji berry and zeaxanthin also may prove to be helpful in the irregular blood vessel growth and leakage that occurs in the wet form of macular degeneration due to their potential anti-VEGF properties.

4. Blackberries for macular functioningConsume more darkly pigmented berries (preferably organically grown). Studies indicate that eating more dark berries like blueberries, black berries and raspberries may help preserve macular health. Some of the “super fruits” like gogi berry, acai berry and mangosteen are powerful antioxidants that may prove to be beneficial for macular disease. These are not easily found in your local grocery unless they are in a juice or powdered form. If you are a diabetic consult with your physician prior to eating more fruits. Darkly pigmented berries may also exhibit some anti-VEGF attributes.

5. Get more omega 3 fatty acids by taking micro distilled triglyceride fish oil. Stay away from the ethyl ester form of fish oil due to alcohol being attached to the molecule and poorer absorption rate when compared to triglyceride fish oil. Fortifeye Super Omega-3 Fish Oil | Click To OrderDue to the large amount of pollutants in fish, molecularly distilled triglyceride fish oil may be a better option than eating the fish. Canned sardines are a good source of omega threes, protein, Co-Q10 and calcium, and are fairly contaminant free. Eat more cold-water fish (sardines, tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Atlantic halibut, herring and wild—not farmed—salmon). Flax seed oil is not a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids! I recommend Fortifeye Super Omega since it is the more natural concentrated triglyceride form of omega-3 and goes through a triple molecular distillation process to insure it is contaminant free. This gel cap is also chewable with a great taste for those patients that have difficulty swallowing pills. Fortifeye Vitamins phone number is 1-866-503-9746 or go to www.fortifeye.com.

6. Eat less salt. Research may indicate that decreasing salt intake may decrease deposition of waste products in the macula called drusen. Reduction in salt intake may help decrease blood pressure and fluid retention.

7. Wear blue blocking sunglasses especially if you have had cataract surgery. There is science that indicates blocking the high energy visible spectrum (400nm-500nm, the “blue light”), may help prevent damage to the macula. Yellow, amber and orange colored lenses are good at blocking the blue light. Wear them any time you are outdoors during daylight. Wear polarized blue blockers while in the sun. Non-polarized lenses are better while indoors, during cloudy and overcast days and for certain sports like motorcycling, golf, road biking and mountain biking.

8. No smoking!NO SMOKING! If you do smoke try to quit. Smoking lowers your serum antioxidant levels in your blood and thus causes a nutritional deficiency at the cellular level. Second hand smoke is just as bad. Smokers increase their risk dramatically of developing the more advanced stages of macular degeneration. Smoking increases C-reactive protein (inflammatory marker in blood that is a risk factor for macular degeneration). If you smoke be sure you do NOT take high levels of the supplement called beta-carotene. High dosages of beta-carotene my increase ones risk of lung cancer. New science also indicates beta-carotene may interfere with the absorption of lutein (a beneficial carotenoid for macular health). Beta-carotene should not be in a vitamin formula especially if you have macular degeneration. Vegans may want to supplement with beta-carotene since they arent getting any vitamin A from animal sources, however most Americans that do eat some animal protein will not be deficient in Vitamin A and thus dont need any beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has shown some form of competitive inhibition against lutein that may begin in the stomach.

9. Do cardiovascular exercises for 20-30 minutes 5 times a week (discuss this with your physician first). Research indicates that patients who did cardiovascular exercise (treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, walking, jogging, swimming etc.) were less likely to develop macular degeneration. These forms of exercise may be beneficial for glaucoma patients as well.

10. If you are overweight, LOSE WEIGHT! Overweight people are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration. Losing weight will also reduce C-reactive protein and help to normalize cholesterol and triglycerides. Controlling C-reactive, cholesterol and triglycerides may benefit macular degeneration. Overweight patients are also more likely to develop glaucoma and cataracts at an earlier age. Reducing your caloric intake and increasing your cardiovascular exercise will aid in weight reduction. Patients who are over weight with pre-existing health conditions may want to seek help from a physician supervised weight loss program.

11. Control systemic health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, elevated C-reactive protein and elevated homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine has been linked to macular degeneration as well as optic neuropathies, certain types of glaucoma, retinal occlusive disease and diabetic retinopathy. Patients who are overweight can have a dramatic improvement in these systemic health problems once they start a weight management program and stick to it.

Choose red wine for eye health12. Drink red wine and green tea! New research may indicate that drinking red wine in moderation, sipping green tea, eating more soy products and cooking with curry may have some positive impact on macular degeneration, cataracts and inflammatory diseases in the eye. Consume more Pinot Noir from the New York region, because this wine has some of the highest resveratrol content. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant proving to have many health benefits. Walnuts are also a good source of resveratrol. The latest research shows that soy, resveratrol, green tea and curcumin may all have the ability to inhibit new fragile blood vessel growth (anti VEG-F). This may prove to be beneficial at decreasing the chance of the dry form of macular degeneration from turning into the wet form. Some other specific nutrients that may also exhibit effects on VEGF are Vitamin D, rutin, zeaxanthin, tocotrienols, super berries and even B vitamins.

Macular Degeneration sufferer13. Have a vitamin D blood test; 25 (OH) D done routinely, making sure you are not deficient in Vitamin D. Recent research shows patients with low levels of serum Vitamin D may be more likely to develop macular degeneration. Vitamin D is a potent steroid hormone and deficiencies are linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, osteoathritis, osteoporosis, depression, multiple sclerosis, muscle wasting, schizophrenia and even the flu. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D. Just 15-20 minutes of sun exposure during the peak hours in shorts and a tank top while wearing a good pair of blue blocking sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat may be beneficial. Consult with your physician before too much sun exposure especially if there is a history of skin cancers or melanoma.

14. Dark Chocolate is high in polyphenols and antioxidants that may prove to be beneficial for macular degeneration. The darker the chocolate the better. Dark chocolate is proving to be good for for many health conditions including diabetes, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol and may reduce the risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Polyphenols from dark chocolate may also exhibit some anti-VEGF properties and may prove to be beneficial for macular degeneration. Try to eat the dark chocolate with the highest percent of cocoa and the least amount of sugar.

15. Do not take supplemental beta-carotene! Many emerging studies are proving that supplemental beta-carotene blocks the absorption of lutein. Beta-carotene also increases the risk of lung cancer among smokers. There is no beta-carotene in the eye, however, there is a high percent of lutein concentrated in the macula, so macular degeneration patients do not want to block this valuable carotenoid. Do not take Vitamin A palmitate as studies now indicate that it may increase the risk of macular degeneration and it may also increase the risk of osteoparosis, liver problems and neuro degenerative diseases. If you are deficient in Vitamin A then a physician needs to determine why and treat accordingly.

16. Get a good night’s sleep. More and more research is indicating that sleep deprivation is a major risk factor for many health problems. Sleep deprivation can suppress the immune system, increase inflammation in the body, lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep deprivation may increase your risk of optic nerve problems as well as macular degeneration. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults.

17. Take a good nutritional supplement based Fortifeye Complete Plus | Click To Orderon the latest scientific data, preferably one that does not have any artificial dyes and synthetic nutrients. Be careful of supplements that have only “window dressing” amounts of specific nutrients. Many vitamin companies will add tiny amounts of popular nutrients just to be able to put it on the label. These small amounts may have no nutritional value. Patients must also be extremely careful not to take too many supplements as well. Vitamins can build up toxic levels, especially the fat soluble forms. The leading company that takes all of the current science into consideration in the development of their nutraceuticals is Fortifeye® Vitamins. The Fortifeye® products are all natural with no dyes. They provide therapeutic levels of nutrients and no window dressing. The Fortifeye Vitamins mission is stated as promoting proper vision and whole body health with the right ingredients at the right levels. I recommend to all of my patients the multivitamin Fortifeye™ Complete Plus, which Fortifeye Complete | Click To Orderis a combination of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, whole foods and omega-3 essential fatty acids designed to lay a strong foundation for eye and total body health. If the patient has macular degeneration or is a smoker, I recommend Fortifeye™ Complete Macular Defense which is a nutritional system to help prevent any further vision loss from macular degeneration and gives the additional antioxidants necessary for smokers. I have seen many patients in clinical practice improve, some quite dramatically, while taking these supplements. Many doctors throughout the country are now recommending Fortifeye™ Vitamins to their patients with macular degeneration. Fortifeye stays abreast of the most current science in regards to nutritional supplementation for the eye and body, and because of this, their vitamins for macular degeneration and total body health are constantly evolving. Visit www.fortifeye.com for the latest information, or call toll free 1-866-503-9746.

Michael P. Lange, O.D.
Dr. Michael P. Lange
Board Certified Optometric Physician and Board Certified Nutritional Specialist

 

You can see that many patients will require a total overhaul in their dietary habits and lifestyles, and others will have some minor adjustments. If patients would only do these 17 things faithfully we would see much less vision loss from macular degeneration and have a much healthier society. Remember there is no miracle cure for macular degeneration. However if you implement the 17 steps outlined, you will decrease your risk of going blind from macular degeneration. Keep the faith!

 


Dr. Michael P. Lange

Board Certified Optometric Physician
and Board Certified Nutritional Specialist
Lange Eye Care and Associates
The Lange Eye Institute
(Located in Central/North Central Florida)
www.LangeEyeCare.com
Dec 27, 2009

Author: Dr. Michael P. Lange is a Board Certified Optometric Physician and a Certified Nutrition Specialist who started Lange Eye Care and Associates in Ocala, Florida, in March 1993. Lange Eye Care has grown to nine locations throughout the state of Florida with three Lasik centers. The Lange Eye Institute at The Villages in central Florida is home base for many of the nutritional studies that inspired the Fortifeye Brand of vitamin supplements. Dr. Lange is one of the first doctors in the industry to utilize intracellular blood tests and blood absorption studies to improve the Fortifeye vitamin line. Dr. Lange travels the world for nutritional research gathering valuable information to continuously improve Fortifeye vitamin formulations. Dr. Lange is still involved in the clinical practice of eyecare. He is a guest lecturer, contributing author to many eyecare magazines, and a daily syndicated talk show host of ‘Ask The Doctor’ which broadcasts every weekday at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. from Tampa Bay on radio stations throughout the country and video streaming all over the world via the Internet. Detailed information on the nutritional research Dr. Lange has been involved in, and the eye vitamins and whole body formulas he has formulated, are at www.Fortifeye.com. If you are looking for a great group of eye doctors in Florida go to www.LangeEyeCare.com. For more, read this article about Dr. Michael Lange, Ocala optometrist involved in research on nutrition and UV protection, or read this biography of Dr. Michael Lange, Ocala eye doctor (optometrist).