This is a paraphrased summary of an interview on the Sharon Kleyne Hour - Power of Water Internet radio talk show on World Talk Radio, Apple iTunes and Green Talk Network. Sharon Kleyne is an internationally recognized entrepreneur, water and health advocate, and Founder of Bio-Logic Aqua Research and Save a Child's Life Foundation. To hear the complete show, go to www.SharonKleyneHour.com
Guest: Allen Taylor, Ph D. (Boston, MA), Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research, Tufts University.
Dr. Allen Taylor, a chemist, became interested in eyesight while researching the molecular structure of the eyes' cornea and lenses. The cornea and lens are living tissues but they lack blood vessels and when healthy, are absolutely clear so that light can enter the eye. This research led Allen Taylor to an interest in "food for the eyes" (diet, nutrition and eyesight), and to the Tufts University Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision.
According to Dr. Taylor, "There is more to food for the eyes than just carrots." The goal of his food and nutrition research is to prolong vision. By taking care of your eyes and eating the correct "food for the eyes," you can lessen the chances of age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts and chronic dry eye. Improved diet and nutrition also prolongs health and life.
Sharon Kleyne noted that age related macular degeneration is increasing and is expected to be out of control by 2030. The computer age is not helping. She also noted that water is one of the most important eye foods.
Allen Taylor stated that healthy food and nutrition, including water, can be helpful in natural sight preservation. His recommendations for eye health are the same as for overall health: Keep weight down, get plenty of exercise, drink sufficient water and eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day for anti-oxidants and fiber. He recommends cutting down on most other foods. Also, free oxygen is harmful to cells and is removed by antioxidants. Free oxygen can also damage the heart and make the cornea and lenses less clear. Vitamin C is an excellent anti-oxidant.
Vegetables are best eaten raw but frozen or cooked vegetables are better than nothing. Juice is fine if there is no added sugar or additives. Sugar is associated with macular degeneration. Many meat proteins are modified in the body to sugars that accumulate interfere with absorption of beneficial proteins.
The role of sodium in eyesight, according to Dr. Taylor, is inconclusive. Too much sodium can be unhealthy but a certain amount is required for tears and perspiration.
Dr. Allen Taylor is a supporter of drinking plenty of water to avoid aging and dehydration diseases such as chronic dry eye. He is a supporter of eye misting to supplement natural tear film water content and help keep eyes healthy and well nourished.
Sharon Kleyne's evaluation: Dr. Allen Taylor validated my belief that you are what you eat and that older people should be a role model to younger people in avoiding lifestyle choices that contribute to aging eye and senior dry eye. Like many other guests, Dr. Taylor advocates dark green leafy vegetables for vitamin C (kale, spinach, arugula), carrots for beta-carotene and, of course, water.