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Macular Degeneration

The macula is the area of the retina where images are focused, and is responsible for fine vision. Degeneration of the macula is a major cause of vision loss for elderly in the U.S. Loss of vision can occur suddenly or it may progress slowly. The major risk factors for macular degeneration are smoking, ageing, atherosclerosis, environmental toxins, bright lights, heredity, and high blood pressure. One cause is thought to be a decreased blood and oxygen supply to the retina. This degenerative condition can be the result of free-radical damage, similar to that which induces cataracts. Free radical damage is caused by toxic, highly reactive molecules call free-radicals which can build up in our bodies.

There are two types of macular degeneration, atrophic (dry) and exudative (wet). Exudative macular degeneration is marked by leaking of fluid or hemorrhaging of blood vessels in the retina, thus causing scarring and vision loss. Most people experience the atrophic form which is largely age-related. In this case, sacs of cellular debris that have accumulated throughout life begin to cause vision loss. Central vision is lost, whereas peripheral vision remains in tact. Always have your physician check your eyes if you are experiencing vision loss of any kind in order to determine its cause.

Prevention of macular degeneration means reducing its risk factors. Controlling blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are important early in life. Avoiding overexposure to bright lights, smoke, and environmental toxins are also key. Because free-radical damage is a cause of macular degeneration, supplementation with antioxidants (with such as vitamins A, C, & E, and selenium) is especially important. Antioxidants are thought to help rid our body of toxic free-radicals. Other antioxidant supplements such as bilberry, ginkgo, and OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) also contain flavonoids which may help to increase blood flow to the retina and improve vision. Since the macula in the eye is high in yellow carotenes, a diet rich in carotenoids is beneficial. Such a diet includes a variety of yellow-orange fruits and vegetables. Lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene are very beneficial carotenoid supplements that help the body maintain critical oxygen flow to the macula. Zinc plays an essential role in retinal function, so adequate levels of zinc are imperative.

Your Solution Plan

  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid smoking, bright lights, and environmental toxins
  • Atherosclerosis management
  • Hypertension management
Our Pharmacist's and Naturopath's Supplement Recommendations:
  • Herbs and Phytonutrients - bilberry, ginkgo biloba, grape seed extract (OPC's), eyebright, bioflavonoids, quercetin, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids
  • Vitamins and Minerals - especially vitamins C & E, betacarotene, selenium, zinc
  • Antioxidants - n-acetyl cysteine, l-glutathione, lipoic acid, vitamin E
  • Essential Fatty Acids - omega-3 & omega-6

The following products are recommended by licensed pharmacists and naturopaths who have specialised in natural medicines and dietary supplements.
If you are currently taking medications or other dietary supplements, we highly recommend you ask your Pharmacist or Doctor for additional guidance.

Practitioner Range

Practitioner Products Warning:
These products are either of a higher potency or efficacy. Practitioner products in Australia are prescribed by either doctors or naturopaths and usually have higher doses based on the latest in research and development. By purchasing this item you certify that you are under the guidance of a qualified health care practitioner who can direct your proper use of these items.

BioCeuticals AntiOx Excel

Antioxidants help protect the body from the ravages of free radicals. Free radicals damage our DNA, cell membranes, and our immune system. They are a major factor in ageing, as well as degenerative diseases of the body and brain. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers which neutralize the destructive effects of these free radicals. Daily intake of antioxidant supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle protects us from the damages of these harmful free radicals. AntiOx Excel features a scientifically formulated blend of nutrients and herbal extracts to provide maximum protection against free radical induced damage. AntiOx Excel may be beneficial for oxidative stress, detoxification processes and as an adjunct for disease conditions that require antioxidant support

BioCeuticals UltraClean EPA/DHA Plus®

Essential fatty acids are "good fats" that are absolutely necessary for the reproduction of cells. We also need them as part of the many natural biochemical processes of the body. They are called "essential" because each cell in our body needs a supply of them each and every day. They are also called "essential" because they must be taken in from our diets or in supplement form. As part of a healthy lifestyle, supplementing daily with essential fatty acids helps to keep our bodies functioning at their peak. This formula combines the beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are most important to our health. Omega-3 EFAs are utilised by the body in several key areas that help influence general wellbeing. As phospholipid components of cell membranes throughout the body, they support healthy cell function and fluidity. Additionally omega-3 EFAs provide anti-inflammatory activity, and also support the maintenance of healthy brain function and healthy triglyceride levels.

Information on Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration - Macular Degeneration Foundation

Eye Conditions - Vision Australia

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