Reader’s Question: I have cataracts in both of my eyes, and my vision is getting worse. Are there any non-surgical alternatives that may clear them up naturally?
Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: Whenever a patient of mine has cloudy patches in the lenses of their eyes… and especially when they’ve already been diagnosed with cataracts… I suspect that they may be suffering from abnormal sugar insulin metabolism.
You see, the lenses of our eyes respond to high blood sugar levels by “helping” to remove some of the excess. Unfortunately, the lenses have nowhere to store this excess sugar – so, over time, it literally “condenses” into cataracts.
The first thing I have my patients with cataracts do, therefore, is immediately eliminate all refined sugar from their diets. It’s not a “cure,” but it may help clear the clouds and get to the root cause of the condition.
A natural option for treating cataracts is a combination of Chinese botanicals called “Hachimi-jio-gan,” or Ba-wei-wan. This treatment has been used for centuries in China to treat cataracts, and it even has a bit of clinical evidence to support it, to boot: In a human study of early cataracts conducted in Japan, Hachimi-jio-gan was associated with lessening of cataracts in 60 per cent of the volunteers.
Hachimi-jio-gan is available as a (much easier to pronounce) formula called Clinical Nutrients for the Eyes, which is available from specialist pharmacies natural food stores.
I also recommend 30,000 IU of vitamin A (not beta-carotene) for anyone who wants to treat (or even prevent) cataracts. In fact, the only people who shouldn’t use this amount are very small children (who don’t get cataracts anyway) and pregnant women.
Bilberry and ginkgo are the best vision-supporting herbs, but some other, useful eye-protecting nutrients include:
• lutein and zeaxanthin (found in highest concentrations in spinach, collard greens, and other deep green leafy vegetables)
• zinc (found in oysters, fish, and other animal protein)
• selenium (two to four Brazil nuts a day are an excellent source)
• riboflavin (brewer’s yeast, almonds, mushrooms, wheat bran, and dark green leafy vegetables)
• taurine (organ meats, fish, and other animal protein), and
• quercetin (onions, apples, kale, cherries, grapes, red cabbage, and green beans).
If you’ve got something on your mind, drop me a line at email@example.com – I may choose your question to answer next week!
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing