Cataract diet

What must contain a Cataract diet?

• Medical research has reported that people who eat diets low in vitamin C have a greater risk for developing cataracts. The reason for this connection very likely hinges on vitamin C's role as an antioxidant. Refer again to oxidation, free radicals, and antioxidants, found on pages 18-23 in Section we, for more details. Even after you have begun early development of cataracts, vitamin C helps slow or stall the process and improve vision. Recommendation: If you do not currently take vitamin C, begin with this regimen. If possible, purchase vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in crystalline (powdered) form. Each teaspoon should contain 4 grams of vitamin C. Begin with 1/8 teaspoon (500 mg) once a day. After a few days, increase to 1/4 teaspoon (1000 mg or 1 gram) once a day. Then take that dose (1/4 teaspoon) twice a day. After you have reached this dose level, which gives you 2000 mg (or 2 grams) of vitamin C per day, begin to increase the amount taken at each dose (1/2 teaspoon next) or frequency of dosing (3 times a day, 4 times a day) until you reach your bowel tolerance level (see Vitamin C, Section we, page 50) or reach a daily dose of 4 to 8 grams. If you currently take vitamin C in a tablet, pick up the regimen at the dose you currently take and increase from there. A combination of vitamin A along with vitamin C also seems to arrest the progression of cataracts and decrease the need for cataract surgery. The earlier in the process you begin, the better the response. Recommendation: Take 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU vitamin A per day along with at least 1 gram of vitamin C. Refer to the discussion of vitamin A and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of taking too much of this vitamin. Because your body stores the vitamin, toxic levels can build up. You must be very careful in taking vitamin A supplements to not overdo it.

•  Cataract dietVitamin E in Cataract diet, another of the strong antioxidant, free radical scavenging vitamins, also plays a crucial role in protecting your lenses from the development of cataracts. If you have direct family members who have developed cataracts, you can reduce your risk of doing so by as much as 50% just by taking vitamin E daily. Recommendation: Begin with a dose of 100 IU per day and remain there for 1 week. Because in some people vitamin E can increase blood pressure, be sure to have your blood pressure taken before you move on to a higher dose. If your average blood pressure has not risen above 140/90, increase your daily intake to 200 IU and then to 400 IU of vitamin E (in the form of alpha-tocopherol succinate) daily. Larger adults may increase to 800 IU per day as a maximum dose for this condition as long as blood pressure remains normal for them.

• Selenium in Cataract diet, the mineral that the body needs to produce its own potent free radical scavenger glutathione peroxidase, also helps reduce the aging of the lens of the eye. By taking a small dose of selenium, you can reduce the amount of vitamin E you take. This interaction is especially important in people who suffer from high blood pressure and may not be able to take a higher amount of vitamin E. Recommendation: Take 400 Micrograms of selenium along with 100 IU to 200 IU of vitamin E daily.

•  Beta-carotene, a forerunner and relative of vitamin A, alsohelps to protect the eye from oxidation and aging. Because betacarotene is much less toxic than vitamin A, you may tolerate taking it with fewer side effects. Recommendation: First increase your intake of food sources rich in beta-carotene, such as orange, yellow, and dark green vegetables. Then add a daily supplement of 15,000 IU to 30,000 IU per day.

• Cataract dietPeople with early cataract development often prove to be deficient in riboflavin (vitamin B2). No clear evidence suggests that the deficiency causes the cataract, but one study found riboflavin deficiency in 80% of the people with cataracts, but in only 12% of those without cataracts. In a small study at the University of Georgia (1976), all the people treated with riboflavin reported improvement of symptoms in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Within 9 months of daily treatment, the cataract opacities had disappeared. But before you rush out to purchase riboflavin, let us add that in this case you can get too much of a good thing. Supplementation of greater than 10 mg per day increases the production of free radicals and could hasten cataract formation unless you counter the free radical attack by taking vitamins C, E, and selenium. Recommendation: Take 50 mg riboflavin along with the doses of vitamins C and E and selenium suggested in this section.

•  Deficiency of zinc in Cataract diet, necessary for normal glucose use by the cells of the lens, seems to promote the formation of cataracts in laboratory animals (including fish) and in people. Supplementation with zinc becomes especially important for the elderly, who frequently suffer from this mineral deficiency and more often develop cataracts. Recommendation: Take 50 mg to 100 mg of chelated zinc (zinc aspartate or zinc picolinate) daily for 6 to 8 weeks. Then reduce your daily dose to 25 to 50 mg per day. Warning: Supplementation of zinc in its ionic form can create deficiencies of other minerals, such as copper, by competing with them for absorption from the intestine. Chelation of the minerals (see pages 30-31, Section we, on chelation) prevents this competition to get into the body, allowing you to fully absorb each mineral.

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