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Vitamins are Important in the Prevention of AMD

Part Eight
by Chris A. Knobbe, MD

Best ‘Eye Vitamins’ for Macular Degeneration

Vitamins are important in the prevention of AMD.

Yes, absolutely. In fact, tremendously so. However, the AREDS supplement likely doesn’t even provide the vitamins most important to preventing AMD, which, based on our research, are the fat-soluble vitamins. Those most likely to play major roles in AMD development (or prevention, as the case may be) include vitamins A, D, and K2. This is yet another entirely separate subject matter, and is covered in detail only in my book at this point.

However, one should realize that, as reviewed in my book, the PUFA vegetable oils, trans fats, and possibly sugar, all appear to have direct toxicities in the development and evolution of AMD, plus they displace nutrient-dense foods, such as pasture raised meats, fish and seafood, pastured eggs, butter from pastured cows, raw milk, organically grown fruits and vegetables, and organically grown grains that are properly prepared (soaked, fermented, or sprouted).

Perhaps even more important are the “sacred foods.” These are the foods that are particularly rich in the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D and K2 particularly), and which every healthy, traditional living society of which Price studied, somehow knew through what Price referred to as “accumulated wisdom,” would make for healthy babies, would prevent physical degeneration and many diseases, including infectious diseases, and in general would allow for healthy minds and bodies. These particular foods consisted of butter from cows grazing on green grass (pastured butter), whole, raw milk, organ meats such as liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas, etc., fish and other seafood, and fish eggs (roe).

A centuries old tradition, which might certainly be considered a sacred food (primarily in Western societies), is also extra virgin cod liver oil (EVCLO), which is not a supplement, but rather a whole food that comes straight from the livers of fish. This is a fantastic source of both vitamin A and vitamin D, of which most people are currently severely lacking. For those not regularly consuming the liver of terrestrial animals (beef and chicken, for example, which are great sources of vitamin A) along with either lots of fatty fish and seafood (e.g., salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines, all of which are good sources of vitamin D) or sunshine (another great source of vitamin D), then EVCLO is a fantastic substitute. I strongly recommend this for those not regularly consuming organ meats as well as lots of fatty fish and seafood, and who don’t regularly get good sun exposure to bare skin (plus one has to be at the “right” latitude, at mid-day, and at the right time of year to properly convert vitamin D).

Also, I promised that I would return to the issue that these antioxidant multivitamins used in studies do not prevent AMD in the first place, and yet are expected to prevent progression once the disease has begun.

Again, is this just a paradox?

I would assert that it is not entirely a paradox. In fact, I believe there is a logical conclusion here. The antioxidant vitamins, which at least in pill form have shown no benefit to preventing AMD, could potentially help prevent AMD progression once the disease is moderate or severe (as the AREDS study found).

Why would this be the case? Because, very potentially, those that already have moderate or severely advanced AMD also have the worst nutritional status! These are the people, who have generally continued their SAD (or Westernized) diets for a number of additional years beyond when they had grade 1 or 2 (early) AMD, further depleting nutrient and even antioxidant stores. In this scenario, even the marginally beneficial AREDS formula may benefit people in such severely malnourished states.

The question to ask is in this scenario is not “What would be marginally beneficial?” But rather, “What is the most optimal nutrition?”

Once again then, which are the “best eye vitamins”? Well, they are those that are in whole, natural, entirely un-processed, ancestral diets. And preferably organic. And these diets must include animal sources in order to properly supply the fat-soluble vitamins in sufficient quantities.

As Weston A. Price discovered, all vibrantly healthy, happy, disease-free societies that he found were consuming animal foods. In some cases, such as certain African tribes, these animal sources primarily came from insects. But, they did indeed have animal sources to supply these vitamins.

Secondly, all of the healthy groups that Price found were not consuming refined white wheat flour, added sugars, sweets, confectionary, canned goods, and vegetable oils.

I’ve re-organized these categories of “foods” to be avoided as:

  • Refined white wheat flour
  • Refined (added) sugars
  • Polyunsaturated vegetable oils
  • Artificially created trans-fats (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils)

Based on the hypothesis I’ve proffered and the supportive research that my colleague, Marija Stojanoska, and I have completed, we have asserted that the term “Age-Related Macular Degeneration” should be replaced and supplanted by the more appropriate term, “Diet-Related Macular Degeneration,” or DMD. We believe this will place the focus of prevention – and treatment – on the true underlying cause.

We hope you agree.

I’ll end this article with a quote from the man, the scientist, the researcher, and the dentist, whom many have referred to as the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition,” who not only completed an epic work of nutritional anthropology, but who published those works in his treatise, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (1939). In this timeless book, which presented revolutionary research that could never again be completed, Price wrote,

“Great harm is done, in my judgment, by the sale and use of substitutes for natural foods.” [82]

— Weston A. Price

I couldn’t agree more.

In my opinion, if you only read one book on nutrition in your lifetime, don’t read mine. Read Weston A. Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, available at PPNF.org.

This article was written by Ophthalmologist, Chris A. Knobbe, MD
Associate Clinical Professor Emeritus
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas
Founder & President, Cure AMD Foundation™

Dr. Knobbe would like to thank Andrew J. Luff, MA, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCOphth, Vitreo-Retinal surgeon from the U.K., for his assistance in the AREDS study data and analysis.

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