Have you ever felt your money was wasted on supplements? That even though you consistently followed the protocol from your health-care practitioner you were not getting the results others obtained with the same program? You may have been right! We've helped hundreds of patients with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) with these healing secrets designed to help "non-responders"; those for whom the average supplement and dietary protocol fails to work.
ARMD is the leading cause of blindness in elderly Western populations and it is marked by central vision loss where blind spots or scotomas intrude. Threading a needle and passing the driver's licensing test eventually become impossible but ARMD is preventable – even reversible to some degree with the diligent, intelligently targeted efforts we have put into practice in our clinics to increase the chances of success.
The best doctor's recommendations or nutritional consulting for ARMD are fruitless unless nutrients are able to be broken down or micellized, transported to the macula, and assimilated there. After years of observing how some patients prevent ARMD despite strong hereditary tendencies, how some halt or even reverse impending blindness, and how some patients actually get worse despite being on the same protocol, it became clear that powerful tactics were needed in addition to recommending dietary changes or supplements.
The strategies we employ are successful for many individuals and have applications far beyond the diagnosis of ARMD. They will influence conditions or diseases where proper fat breakdown is essential to impact issues such as dry eye, post-cholecystectomy (gallbladder surgery) status, liver disease, etc. The eye, GI tract, liver, and gallbladder are intricately entwined. Think about it, when your liver is sick, your eyes turn yellow or jaundiced. When your GI tract is out of balance, red, itching "allergy" eyes often result. Interesting signaling! The solution is more complicated than just popping a supplement or even making some dietary changes. Are you ready to learn the secrets? Whether you have macular degeneration or not, these concepts will serve you well.
Best Kept Secret #1: Work from the GI Tract Outward
Some doctors, when pressed if they had only one system to specialize in, would tell you, "The GI tract." Why? Because the GI tract is central to good health and its ability to affect the entire body so powerful when operating at its peak. It is here that we begin to improve vision. The target nutrients used in past studies to prevent, halt, or reverse ARMD are lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and fish oil. The carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene) concentrate in the central part of the retina, and help us identify colors and see fine details, so they are vital in a healing strategy. They also provide protection against blue light, which damages the retina. Building macular optical pigment density (MOPD) is the goal in this approach, replenishing the macula; but first we have to break down these carotenoids and antioxidants and then shuttle them to the macula by following several simple tactics.
Dr. Stuart Richer, who demonstrated success in reversing macular degeneration with the LAST studies, shares an encouraging increase in MOPD in the pictures below. From July 14, 2011, to October 6, 2011, the degree of MOPD increased by employing some of the following strategies. A picture is worth a thousand words and is the tool best used to motivate patients to committed action. These pictures give hope to those losing their eyesight; the macula is refilling nicely with lutein and zeaxanthin.
The graphs show MOPD, at baseline on the left and increasing in the right-hand picture reflected by the non-red portions of the image after nearly three months of supplementation use. This means the macula is refilling with lutein and zeaxanthin.
To ensure proper breakdown of supplements, use a good digestive supplement, preferably one that contains ox bile, taurine, lecithin, and adequate hydrochloric acid, or a combination of these. Thinning the bile is a major key to eye health as it will help more lutein get to the macula. Doing a liver/gallbladder flush seasonally is an aggressive part of the plan, if one wishes to take a serious, logical approach. Remember, the liver and gallbladder influence the eye, so aim to create a healthy, fully functioning liver and gallbladder. We are not only our eyes. We are a complete system, so thinking from a systems biology approach may create the desired healing response. To do this, head south to the GI tract first.
Interior Terrain Influences Absorption, So Start Clean
A well-functioning GI tract influences the eye tremendously. Support digestive ability by following the 4-R or GI Restoration program. Absorption of the macula-replenishing carotenoids like beta-carotene will be hindered by the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria and/or an imbalance of intestinal bacteria. This interior terrain needs a healthy balance of good bacteria versus bad bacteria by using targeted supplements and the support of digestive enzymes along with the other approaches discussed in the 4-R protocol.
All of the targeted supplements and carotenoid-rich foods we suggest will not do you a bit of good unless they are first broken down or micellized.
As even Wikipedia notes, "Micelle formation is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and complicated lipids within the human body. Bile salts formed in the liver and secreted by the gall bladder allow micelles of fatty acids to form. This allows the absorption of complicated lipids (e.g., lecithin) and lipid soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) within the micelle by the small intestine."
These are the micellizing "magicians" that get the job done: (1) Ox Bile: Supply exogenous ox bile, particularly to post-cholecystectomy patients; (2) Lecithin: (Sunflower or soy) can be added to the diet to aid in fat breakdown; and (3) Taurine: A precursor to bile production, which also thins bile.
Fat-soluble lutein and zeaxanthin, essential to replenish the macula, require being emulsified or broken down to the micellized state in order to enter the bloodstream for transport by a very surprising particle "shuttle," high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Sufficient, Well-functioning Bile Is Vital
Bile acids are made from cholesterol in the liver and stored and concentrated in the gallbladder where they act as an emulsifying agent to break up fat into smaller globules, making it more soluble or hydrophilic. This process is called micelle formation. Fat and fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, beta-carotene, and the carotenoid family are carried to the intestinal mucosa, absorbed into the lymphatic system, and then into the bloodstream. So what is the best kept secret? First, break down the fat-soluble vitamins and then get them to the macula by raising HDL levels to 61 or above. Do you know what your HDL level is?