Marie-Christine LANGGUTH CUEVA
Naturopathe - Iridologue - Nutrithérapie
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Glaucoma. Its management requires medical assistance, while associating certain eating habits which can reduce its effects.
Glaucoma affects about 1% of the population aged over 40 years and is the second leading cause of blindness in developed countries, after age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is a chronic disease due to progressive destruction of the optic nerve fibers under the influence of various factors, the most frequent being the abnormal elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP). Some risk factors favor its occurrence as family history, advanced age, ethnicity, myopia, and other risk factors related to diet, such as high cholesterol and fluctuating blood pressure.
Some substances that should be avoided
- Avoid smoking and coffee consumption as much as possible: these two substances can increase eye pressure.
- Avoid pesticides, when its possible, by opting for fruit and vegetable from organic farming. Pesticides are known to be neurotoxic agents, which are suspected to increase the risk of glaucoma : their deleterious effect has been demonstrated in the PhotoGRAF * study.
Oxidative stress may be involved
- Oxidative stress can cause changes in the extracellular matrix of the trabeculum, a collagen fibers tissue located in the irido-corneal angle which ensures filtration of the aqueous humor outside the eye.
Water-soluble antioxidants can regulate apoptosis reactions and facilitate the remodeling of collagen, often associated with increased intraocular pressure: the glutathione is the leader.
- Apoptosis reactions and remodeling of elastin are, for their part, often correlated with the occurrence of the optic atrophy: vitamin E, fat soluble, seems to be an interesting option. So fill up with dried fruits (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, apricots) and use vegetable oils like sunflower, rapeseed, eggs, rich in this valuable vitamin.
- Carotenoids ** for eye: the carotenoid family contains more than 600 molecules with antioxidant properties. The best known are beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, lutein and astaxanthin. At the level of the eye, both the retina and the lens, two carotenoids and their derivatives are found in the membrane of the outer segments of photoreceptors, highly exposed to oxidative stress: lutein and zeaxanthin. These are very powerful trappers of lipid free radical of tocopheryl type that you find mostly in tomato, green and red pepper, spinach, liver, egg yolk and all colored vegetables in general. Note that carotenoids are better absorbed when cooked.
- Also prefer the anthocyanins of some fruits such as those contained in blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), at least 55 g to 115 g of fresh fruit, 3 times a day. Think also of elderberry, blackcurrant, and gooseberry, also rich in anthocyanins.
A good balance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid families
- The dietary ratio of omega-3 / omega-6 fatty acids in the diet could modulate the intraocular pressure balance. In addition, omega-3 are essential to the phenomenon of photo-transduction, provided by the retina. A diet low in omega-3 and high in omega-6 could promote an increase in intraocular pressure by default of synthesis of prostaglandin (PGE2) as well as a relative decrease in uveoscleral drainage.
- We consume too much omega-6: our eating habits bring this ratio to 3/20 whereas ideally it should be 3/5.
- To restore the balance, regularly eat fresh fish such as mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon, nuts, flax seeds, camelin or linseed oil, dark green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and purslane.nards et le chou et du pourpier.
Some ways to reduce certain symptoms
- Alpha-lipoic acid ***, also called thioctic acid, lipodomic acid or ALA, is an antioxidant which penetrates as easily into brain tissue as connective tissue. It is a natural sulfur molecule naturally present in our body but whose rate tends to decline sharply with age. Red meat, yeasts, potatoes, broccoli, watercress, spinach are food sources rich in ALA.
- Vitamin C **** the following fruits are highly provided : blackcurrant, lemon, currant, guava, mandarin, melon, grapefruit, cherry, peach, pear, apricot. Do not forget the vegetables that are also an excellent source of it : sweet pepper, fresh herbs, lamb's lettuce, dandelion, cabbage, watercress, eggplant, turnip, leek, potato, radish, tomato, artichoke, lettuce. Some offal (kidney) and shellfish contain a small part.
* Etude PhotoGRAF (Glaucome et Risque d'Apparition en France), présentée par le Pr Renard, lors du 116° congrès de la Société Française d'Ophtalmologie, mai 2010. En cours de publication
** Mortensen A. Relative stability of carotenoid radical cations and homologue tocopheryl radicals. A real time kinetic study of antioxidant hierarchy. FEBS Lett 1997;417:261-6
*** Acide lipoïque Filina AA, Davydova NG, et al. [Lipoic acid as a means of metabolic therapy of open-angle glaucoma.] [Article in Russian] Vestn Oftalmol, 1995 Oct-Dec;111(4):6-8.
**** Ringsdorf WM Jr, Cheraskin E. Ascorbic acid and glaucoma: a review. J Holistic Med, 1981;3:167B72.