About 150,000 years ago, the human race almost became extinct.
Glacial ice covered the globe. Food sources from dry land disappeared. The entire human race was reduced to a few hundred people.
Everyone alive today are descended from those few survivors.
Surviving The Cold
In that terrible ice age, these primal survivors found their way to the only place on earth that could support human life. In Africa, they foraged for marine animals around the coast. They survived on a diet heavy in shell- and cold-water fish.
This diet provided them with an essential fat their bodies couldn’t maKe — but desperately needed to survive and thrive.
And to this day we all need this same fat.
Yet most doctors don’t understand this fundamental fact of human evolution. But I recommend this essential fat to all of my patients.
Omega-3 Fats For Clear Vision
I’m talking about omega-3 fats.
These fats did more than keep the human race alive. They helped our primal ancestors develop clear vision for life.
A new study from LSU Health Sciences Center found that one of the omega-3 fatty acids protects your retina from lethal injuries as they happen. But it does much moRe…
Researchers found that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also protects your eyes from damage that may occur in the future. They said that DHA “preconditions” photoreceptor cells — special neurons in the retina — to survive future injuries.
It does the same thing for your retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. The RPE nourishes your retina. It’s also the first line of defense against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness.1
In other words, DHA acts like a vaccine. It provides protection against a future injury to the retina or other parts of the eye. When rats were given DHA before oxidative stress struck, the DHA protected against the damage that usually would occur in the eye.
Benefits Of Omega-3’s
Other research confirms the benefits of omega-3s for your vIsion. Studies show:
- Eating more fish high in omega-3s can slash the risk of dry eye syndrome by 68%.2
- Lower levels of DHA and EPA, another omega-3 fat, are linked to glaucoma.3
- Eating fish high in omega-3s can cut the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 50%.4
Our primal ancestors settled along coastlines, rivers and lakes. They had easy access to plenty of wild fish and animals. They got plenty of DHA in their diets. But our modern world has changed drastically. Instead of fat from fish and animals, we eat industrial oils from corn, soy, sunflowers and cotton.
To get more omega-3s, I advise my patients to eat like our primal ancestors: Eat at least two servings of wild-caught fatty cold-water fish like salmon every week. Other good sources of DHA are oiLy fish like mackerel, herring, anchovies, sardines, trout and fresh tuna. But farmed fish have very little DHA.
I’ve been tracking my patients’ omega-3 levels for years. So I know it’s almost impossible for most people to get enough omega-3s from food. That’s why I also recommend supplementing.
Nutrients You Need For Optimal Eye Health
- Skip the fish oil. Most doctors and even natural health gurus recommend fish oil to get your DHA. But the fish oil on the market today comes from polluted waters. It’s loaded with toxins. Fortunately, there’s a better choice…I advise my patients to get their DHA from krill and calamari oil. They’re more concentrated than fish oil. And your body absorbs them better.The DHA in krill oil can penetrate into nearly every cell in your body. In one study, people absorbed 46% more omega-3s from krill than from fish oil.5 And the tiny shrimp-like krill do not live long enough to absorb large amounts of toxins.Calamari has over 65% DHA. That’s the highest concentration of DHA I’ve found. These squid also Live miles below the ocean, far from pollution on the surface.Aim to get at least 600 mg of DHA and 400 mg of its cousin EPA every day. And make sure you take them with your meals so these omega-3 fats can be digested properly.
- Combine DHA with astaxanthin. Studies show astaxanthin increases blood flow and antioxidant protection throughout the eye. It helps relieve dry eyes, double and blurred vision. And it protects your eyes from light damage. People who take it report being able to see clearer and sharper. I recommend taking at least 10 mg per day.
- Add bilberry extract. This super berry helps treat cataracts and retina problems. During World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots ate bilberry jam prior to missions to improve their night vision. Look for an extract standardized to 25% anthocyanosides. These are bilberry’s powerful antioxidants. Get 100 mg daily.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
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Sources & References:
1. Knott E., et al. “Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Photoreceptor Preconditioning Protection Requires Docosanoid Signaling.” Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology. 2017.
2. “Dietary Fat Intake Linked To Dry Eye Syndrome in Women.” The Harvard Gazette. October 19, 2005.
3. Ren H., et al. “Primary open-angle glaucoma patients have reduced levels of blood docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2006.
4. SanGiovanni JP., et al. “The Relationship of Dietary Lipid Intake and Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Case-Control Study: AREDS Report No. 20 Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group.” Archives of Ophthalmology. 2007.
5. Maki KC., et al. “Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of EPA and DHA in overweight and obese men and women.” Nutr Res. 2009.