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Nutrients for Macular Degeneration Part II of II

Nutrients for Macular Degeneration Part II of II

Two other important nutrients for promoting eye health and preventing macular degeneration are Taurine and Vinpocetine.

Taurine is an amino acid needed for the maintenance of vision and the regeneration of worn-out tissues of the visual system.  It is found in high concentrations in the retina and protects the photoreceptor cells from ultraviolet damage.  It also helps remove waste deposits formed in the back of the eyes from sunlight exposure. Animal studies have shown that when taurine is removed from food, they develop retinal degeneration; it is reversed when taurine is replaced.  Food sources of taurine include salmon, tuna, sardines and shellfish, beef, lamb, dark chicken meat, eggs, most dairy products, seaweed, krill, brewer’s yeast, human breast milk, and sea algae and plants.  Organ meats like liver and heart contain more taurine than choice cuts of meat.

Vinpocetine is an extract from periwinkle seeds that helps increase retinal circulation.  In one study of 100 people with atherosclerosis and eye disorders, vinpocetine increased retinal circulation and improved visual acuity in 88 of them.  It has been shown to support healthy circulation to the retina and brain and is a popular herb used in Europe to help with stroke prevention and memory enhancement. It improves glucose and oxygen utilization in the brain and retina, inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation, and improves red blood cell elasticity.  It helps arteries relax, normalizes blood pressure, and increases blood flow.  In clinical studies, vinpocetine has been shown to benefit depression, headaches, short-term memory, inner-ear conditions, tinnitus, vertigo, menopausal symptoms, insomnia, speech impairment, stroke, and eyesight disorders.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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