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Dietary Prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Subscribe to Dr. Greger’s free nutrition newsletter at https://www.nutritionfacts.org/subscribe and get a free recipe from his new HOW NOT TO DIE COOKBOOK. (All proceeds Dr. Greger receives from the sales of his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements go to support the 501c3 nonprofit that runs NutritionFacts.org.) DESCRIPTION: Yellow plant pigments such as lutein and zeaxanthin build up in the back of our eyes to protect our retinas against age-related macular degeneration. Levels of these eyesight--saving nutrients in organic free-range eggs, vegetables, and goji berries are compared. I've previously touched on this important topic in Preventing Macular Degeneration with Diet (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-macular-degeneration-with-diet/). I've also covered other leading causes of blindness such as cataracts (Preventing Cataracts with Diet, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-cataracts-with-diet/) and glaucoma (see my last video, Greens vs. Glaucoma, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/greens-vs-glaucoma, and my next video, Dietary Treatment of Glaucoma, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-treatment-of-glaucoma). In Egg Industry Blind Spot (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/egg-industry-blind-spot/) I compare the levels in eggs to greens. Though they didn't appear to boost a measure of immune function (Boosting Natural Killer Cell Activity, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/boosting-natural-killer-cell-activity), goji berries one of the most antioxidant-packed snacks out there. A tip on getting them inexpensively can be found in my video Are Goji Berries Good for You? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-goji-berries-good-for-you/). Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-prevention-of-age-related-macular-degeneration/ and he'll try to answer it! http://www.NutritionFacts.org • Subscribe: http://www.NutritionFacts.org/subscribe • Donate: http://www.NutritionFacts.org/donate • HOW NOT TO DIE: http://nutritionfacts.org/book • Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NutritionFacts.org • Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nutrition_facts • Instagram: http://instagram.com/nutrition_facts_org/ • Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NutritionfactsOrgMD • Podcast: http://nutritionfacts.org/audio/
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Text Comments (52)
Gary McKinnon (2 months ago)
".. cut out the middle-hen .." :)
Roy van Kuik (9 months ago)
Hi Dr. Greger. Just wanted to point out that UV light does not reach the retina. It is absorbed in the lens and cornea before it can reach the retina. Current generation cataract lenses come with a UV filter and are tinted yellow. I would love to see more updates on this subject. As an optician I see many people with mild to severe MD. They often ask, what can I do to prevent worsening of the symptoms? I really feel sad for them because they don't have a clue. Typically they are overweight smoke and drink, where do I start explaining that it's too late to fix the problem and they need to turn their whole world around. Usually I tell them to live a healthy lifestyle and to keep in contact with their doctors.
Shara Elyse (1 year ago)
Dr. Gregor, I was born with a small triangle-looking cataract on my right eye. This eye has gotten so much better in the 45 days of transitioning to a whole food, plant based diet and my question is: Can eliminating animal and animal based foods from my diet make it go away? Or am I just stuck with it? Thanks!
Roy van Kuik (9 months ago)
It will not go away with diet because the eyelens is not in contact with your bloodstream. If it gets worse you can have cataract surgery. Eating like the Doctor recommends helps in many ways but cataract is not a reversible condition. I am not a doctor but an optician, if in any doubt talk to your optician or doctor.
fun2cook (1 year ago)
"Cut out the middle hen." Ha ha. Good one. :)
Aziz Rabie (1 year ago)
CORRECTTION: cataracts are due to yellowing of the crystalline lens of the eye not the cornea as mentioned in the video.
kenny sharp (1 year ago)
I am blasting out the trail mix on the daily, n have been for months now..
johnny102marvin (2 years ago)
I was in the health food store a few days ago, and I saw where one can purchase zeaxantin and lutein supplements. Since this is a very critical issue, it seems like taking these supplements would be a prudent thing to do along with eating goji berries, spinach, and other veggies. It seems that the supplements would just be added insurance. What say you?
ay300000 (2 years ago)
Did you ever consider giving a professional reader read this narrative for you???!! Man, your voice is like a comic/tragic theater actor high on weed...
Sue Fox (3 years ago)
thank you foor your video. i was just told today i have age related macular degeneration  in the dry form. i am 56 yrs old.  i am want to rat healthier. 
obielicious (4 days ago)
Al Cameron eat*
Roy van Kuik (9 months ago)
Just follow his diet and exercise.There is no miracle cure for MD.
Al Cameron (1 year ago)
You want to RAT healthier?
Mark Sibley, M.D. (3 years ago)
...Viewers ...this is well done...Attention Viewers, I treat this macular degeneration problem everyday, 1,000's per year and this video summarizes the facts...and the preventive treatment options...If you eat right starting now, then you avoid my $1,000 per shot monthly wet macula treatments when your #macula has premature aging and starts leaking...
Roy van Kuik (9 months ago)
Just visit an optician, it sounds to me it could be a bit of astigmatism and that is easily corrected with glasses.
Kat Kat (2 years ago)
wow, thought you were going to pitch something but that came from the heart. thank you for your expertise... I have not been diagnosed yet, but when I do the grid test, my right eye if I stare long enough the lines do become a little squiggly, not much though. But nonethe.less I have been donig it all day to see and yes after staring at the dot for about 10 sec it starts to get squiggly. boxes stay same though. When I do the test on the black background and white boxes, the lines don't really move only when I do the white background black boxex. Would you say I am early stage md? I'm only 49, but am determined to live my life to the fullest. I believe in the poiwer of thought and also healing by eating the right foods. Have you seen people arrest the development of the MD with diet?
queseven winque (3 years ago)
Haven't seen Gogi berries for sale anywhere around here near Lansing, Michigan.
Gregory Fannin (3 years ago)
At about 48 seconds 'the yellowing of our corneas when we get cataracts' ... Huh? The yellowing of our CORNEAS???
Roy van Kuik (9 months ago)
Yeah that is wrong, it's the eye lens.
ruth giloy (3 years ago)
do we need to cook the corn ? I thinking of  grinding the raw corn and spinach in a blender. TY
Matt Wennerstrom (3 years ago)
I've just noticed that my vision is starting to waver(turning 40 soon)...will the foods with zeaxanthin help? Can I get back my 20/20 vision with food, or is just inevidable that I'll eventually need glasses?
Zoro Zornes (4 years ago)
So, in the original movie " The Thing"  ,  after they cooked  The Thing with electricity, it should have been served as an  entre or side dish  ?
11cory (4 years ago)
Would whole grain corn cereal have the same nutrient?
Betsy Cosmos (4 years ago)
Cut out the "middle hen" -- love it!  Thanks for another terrific and informative video!
NutritionFacts.org (4 years ago)
Imagine a life without vision… and then feast your eyes on this week’s eye-sight saving video about preventing macular degeneration: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-prevention-of-age-related-macular-degeneration/
Stoudamire3 (4 years ago)
veganraymie (4 years ago)
You rock Greger!!
sunbonanza (4 years ago)
Just started eating goji with nuts four days ago. Psychic connection?
Alex Tillom (4 years ago)
Carrots are a great way to protect yourself against cataract as well.
Zorro Zero (4 years ago)
Maybe we should call it diet-related macular degeneration.
Bornin2Beauty18__ (4 years ago)
I absolutely love this channel!
balderdashery G (4 years ago)
This is fantastic info!  Thank you again Dr. Gregor!
gariyas (4 years ago)
Chinese medicine also recommends a daily drink for the eyes: chrysanthemum & goji tea.
MrGridStrom (4 years ago)
Thank you Dr. Greger, you are an amazing person to share this knowledge. I will share this video on my facebook.
Dale Hopper (4 years ago)
I'm pretty sure that chickens see very well due to their lazer like precision in picking the smallest morsel of food of the ground.  Greens, grains and bugs for the win!
nomadazm (4 years ago)
TRANSLATED THIS VIDEO TO PORTUGUESE IN AMARA(DOT)ORG. CAN YOU UPLOAD THEM IN THIS YOUTUBE LOCATION?  We could put these videos in many more languages and make them reach far in the world, info references on how to keep ourselves healthy. Many volunteers will surelly translate. I have done it ; ) amara(dot)org/en/videos/Ef9I9iHZ2yN1/info/dietary-prevention-of-age-related-macular-degeneration/
Vegan mit Rohe Energie (4 years ago)
Important informations! Thanks. :-)
Randy Kreill (4 years ago)
Wonderfully simple how the same diet that prevents most cancers, heart disease, etc, also prevents eye diseases. So beautifully simple, yet nearly everywhere I look, the vast majority of people appear to be committing a slow, expensive, painful form of food based suicide. Perhaps this won't change dramatically until financial incentives change ...  imagine meat, dairy and egg subsidies gone, AND health insurance premiums to reflect dietary decisions? Is this possible, or must it happen? Our "magical" president, in his younger years, learned from Dr. John McDougall in Hawaii, the real cause of most chronic diseases ... animal based DIETs. He promised us hope, and getting tough on GMO's ... and magically delivered us the Monsanto Protection act ... and a lame website that "lets" healthy consumers subsidize health care insurance for the people lured into eating the junk that govt. promotes and subsidizes ... meat, dairy, eggs. Epidemic obesity, diabetes, etc ... sponsored by big pharma, big ag, FDA, USDA, etc.  
porcelain1 (3 years ago)
Agreed, everyone is up in arms about health care these days, because let's face it, if you eat the Standard American Diet, you ARE going to get sick.  So sad people DON'T realize the FDA, USDA, in bed with big pharma, can't WAIT for you to get sick, so they PROFIT. 
Schpankme Verimuch (4 years ago)
I see Fat People all the time, they're everywhere.
tim rose (4 years ago)
love it
Victor Crosswell (4 years ago)
Just to add some info- Substantial amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin (30-50%) were also present in kiwi fruit, grapes, spinach, orange juice, zucchini (or vegetable marrow), and different kinds of squash.   Most of the dark green leafy vegetables, previously recommended for a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, have 15-47% of lutein, but a very low content (0-3%) of zeaxanthin. Our study shows that fruits and vegetables of various colours can be consumed to increase dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Anand D. (4 years ago)
Middlehen... Dr. Greger, your puns are so wonderfully awful that they become funny again.
Edith Spencer (4 years ago)
Recently the New York Times had a column in which the author, who worked with Dean Ornish, took a rather mean and nasty shot at Ornish and presented her recipes for eggs- of course, this being the NYT, organic, pastured, grass fed , etc. If one brought up the fact that eggs have like 70% of the daily allowance for dietary cholesterol, there was some foolish, and I mean DEEPLY FOOLISH, babble about how dietary cholesterol was not to blame for heart attacks and cardio vascular disease. OY!
Chris Del Ⓥ (4 years ago)
Damn,Goji berries are so expensive :-(
Zorro Zero (4 years ago)
Forget goji berries.  Read Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko and drink green smoothies.
energyquicksand (4 years ago)
Could just spinach do it? Can supplementation also do it? 
energyquicksand (4 years ago)
+AstralStorm Thanks, This info helps a lot.
AstralStorm (4 years ago)
Spinach should do it too (according to the quoted study). A 100g cooked shredded serving provides 20-40 mg of zeaxantin. Raw is probably a bit higher. Kale, turnip greens, collard greens also have a good amount per serving. Goji berries in fact are an unreliable source, concentrations from 2 to 200mg/100g have been reported. Many other healthy green foods also contain non-neglible amounts, e.g. broccoli, corn, peas... Heck, even iceburg lettuce has some few mg/100g - in fact better than egg yolk from free range eggs. No idea about supplementation - perhaps, but have to check dosage. You would need >6 mg daily.
FaZeFrost (4 years ago)
talk about and research nacent iodine please. I was thinking about getting it :p
ttraderjim (4 years ago)
Spinach, both frozen and fresh, has a lot of zeaxanthin.
You sir are a good man

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