If you have diabetes, your doctor has probably warned you about side effects like peripheral neuropathy and slow wound healing. But one of the most frightening consequences of this all-too-common disease is something many doctors gloss right over. I’m talking about diabetic retinopathy.
And preventing it should rank at the top of every diabetic’s priority list. Especially considering there’s a simple, inexpensive nutrient that can help.
Nurture your vision-brain connection
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness in people with diabetes.
It occurs when excessive blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels throughout your body — including vessels in the light-sensitive tissue of the retina at the back of the eye.
But there’s a simple, natural solution that can keep those blood vessels healthy, and, in turn, help support your vision—lutein.
Lutein is a carotenoid plant pigment that’s present in many vegetables and helps support healthy eyesight.
But that just scratches the surface of what this amazing nutrient is capable of.
A VIP pass to your eyes and brain
As I mentioned in an article I sent you earlier this week, Dr. Marc Micozzi is one of the pioneering researchers who first revealed the importance of dietary carotenoids like lutein.
In Dr. Micozzi’s Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes, he notes that lutein is best-known as a vision helper. But he adds, “As I discovered 30 years ago, lutein is a powerhouse in many other areas of human health, including the brain.”
“Lutein is actually one of just two carotenoids that can penetrate the blood-retina barrier and the blood-brain barrier. (The other is zeaxanthin.) In fact, scientists now link higher levels of lutein-related pigments in the eye with improved brain function.”
Dr. Micozzi cites research where participants with higher levels of lutein-related pigments also had higher measures in four key areas:
- Cognitive function
- Lower rates of cognitive decline
- Memory retention
- Verbal fluency
And these were even seen in people who were over 100 years old!
In another study of older women, giving lutein alone or with an omega-3 fatty acid supplement boosted cognitive function, learning ability, verbal fluency, and memory.
According to Dr. Micozzi, when it comes to lutein, the bottom line is this: “If you have diabetes, and even if you don’t, it could very well make all the difference in preserving your eyesight and brain power.”
Now’s the time to start supplementing
Dr. Micozzi also stresses that it’s never too early or too late to start boosting lutein intake to promote eye and brain health. But if you have diabetes, the time to start is now.
To make sure you get sufficient amounts, start with food sources. Dr. Micozzi lists these excellent lutein-rich foods:
- Leafy green vegetables: Arugula, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, swiss chard
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
- Yellow-orange vegetables: Bell peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash
- Eggs: Including the lutein-rich egg yolks
And Dr. Micozzi reminds us that the so-called “experts” who claim eggs are bad for you are off their rockers. He recommends one to three eggs a day, which are good for your eyes, brain, and for balancing blood sugar.
As for supplements, he recommends 5 to 15 milligrams of lutein daily. And to boost that protection even further, he recommends two more carotenoid supplements that also play a key role in supporting eyesight, mental clarity, and general good health.
For the full list of these powerful carotenoid supplements — as well as more ways diabetes patients can protect their vision, brain, and overall health — refer to the Resource Directory in Dr. Micozzi’s Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes. Click here to learn more about this cutting-edge online learning tool or to enroll today.
Neuroprotective Effects of Lutein in the Retina
Current Pharmaceutical Design