You are here

Home » Community » Blogs

Have Any Foods, Herbs Or Supplements Been Proven To Help Vision?

Submitted by dave on Wed, 05/16/2007 - 6:50pm


Science moves slowly and proof of any sort is hard to come by. However, we have strong evidence that lots of herbs and "super food"-type supplements can be very beneficial for patients with glaucoma. How long do you want to wait for the "official" proclamation that these supplements are beneficial? 

Caveat/Opinion: I do not advocate being a pioneer! I am not in favor of being a guinea pig for the latest fabricated nutraceuticals, for example. For those, I'm content to wait on lots of proof and I don't mind waiting a decade or two. However, I do advocate using traditional medical knowledge that has been around for thousands of years and that is supported by modern scientific research. If one looks at traditional medical systems that have a solid track record of support in the modern sciences, there is a ton of stuff out there that has strong evidence of benefit for glaucoma. There are so many things to try that one will not run out of viable options even if the latest patented nutraceuticals remain sitting on the shelf at the store.

Back to my question about how long we should wait for the "official" proclamation regarding these traditional treatments:

James Lind treating scurvyIn 1747 it was "proven" (by James Lind) that vitamin C cured a big killer of the day: scurvy. However, there was strong evidence to support this in the medical literature as far back as 1611. (Actually, some "health food nut" by the name of Gilbertus de Aguilla had advised sailors to carry fresh fruits & veggies to prevent scurvy as early as 1227 - and for anyone who listened the advice meant the difference between life and death.) Now here's the punch line: Lind's proof wasn't accepted by the Admiralty until 1795 - 48 years after scientific proof existed (and 1 year after James Lind died). This delay resulted in a huge number of unnecessary deaths from scurvy. It is actually worse than it sounds too. James Lind was physician at the Royal Navy Hospital at Portsmouth and made sure the Admiralty knew about the cure. Yet, largely due to the expense of citrus, his recommendations were rejected for far too long.

Time spans are shorter today, but politics and financial interests are as strong as ever. When it comes to nutrition in health care, the delays in accepting new knowledge are still way too long. Many people will lose their eye sight while we wait for the mainstream to catch up with what the most well-informed people already know about nutrition right now.

If someone tells you there is no "proof" that supplements help glaucoma, I encourage you to investigate further. People can throw the "no proof" accusation back and forth endlessly. I've watched it for decades. Almost thirty years ago I advised my family to stop eating margarine and to avoid trans fats. Many people said I had no proof. However, the biochemistry made sense and I felt I was on solid ground. I also utilized the experience of traditional medical systems and I felt safe about my choice of dietary fats and oils. I have not had to change that choice in thirty years and I'm still completely in tune with the latest scientific discoveries about dietary fats.


The general public, on the other hand, has often complained of feeling like a ping-pong ball being bounced between conflicting and changing nutritional and supplement recommendations coming from the authorities. It is possible to free yourself from being bounced around like a ping pong ball in the nutrition court. And once you do that, I'm confident you will see that we have more than enough evidence regarding natural compounds (herbal formulations, etc.) you can use right now that will help your vision (whether you have an eye disease such as glaucoma or not). 

Subscribe to RSS Feed