Dietary Prevention of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION Anyone who has ever got a sunburn knows how damaging the UV rays
in sunlight can be. Imagine what those rays are doing to the back of our eyeballs,
our retinas? The eye’s designed to take
sunlight and focus it like a magnifying glass
into the back of our eyes. Thankfully we have a layer
of cells in our eye called the retinal pigment epithelium that supports and protects our
delicate retinal eyesight machinery. This layer builds up yellow plant pigments
from our diet, like zeaxantin, which absorbs blue light and protects
the retina from photo-oxidative damage. The yellowing of our corneas
when we get cataracts may actually be our bodies’ defense
mechanism to protect our retinas. In fact when we go and surgically
remove those cataracts, our risk of blindness from macular
degeneration shoots up since we’ve removed that protection. Instead of trading one type
of vision loss for another, instead of pigmenting the front
of our eye with cataracts, better to pigment the back
of eyes with diet. The pigment in the back of our eye
is entirely of dietary origin, thus suggesting that
the most common cause of going blind in the Western
world could be delayed or even averted with appropriate
dietary modification. Where in our diet do we get it? Well, the egg industry brags
that eggs are a good source, but have an egg nearly day, six
eggs a week for three months, and the pigmentation in
our eyes barely moves. And these were the high lutein,
free range, certified organic eggs, not purchased at the supermarket,
but from a local farm. Instead of getting phytonutrients from the egg that came from the chicken that came from the corn and
blades of grass you pecked on, what about getting it from the source: a cup of corn and a half cup
of spinach a day for three months? A dramatic boost in
protective eye pigment. Just to compare to the eggs,
here’s the best that eggs can do. But if you cut out the middle hen
and get these nutrients from plants directly,
you can get up to here. What’s also so neat about
this study is that it went back and measured the levels three
months after the study stopped, and the levels were still way up here. So once we build our
macular pigment up with a healthy diet, our eyeballs
really try to hold on to it. So even if we go on vacation and end up eating more
iceberg lettuce than spinach, our eyes will hold out until we get back. Yes, eggs can increase zeaxantin
levels in the blood, but they also raise bad cholesterol
levels and risk of heart disease, therefore an egg yolk based
dietary strategy to increase plasma zeaxantin
cannot be recommended. An alternative, you know, a cholesterol-free
food source is desirable, like goji berries for example, which have up to 60 times more zeaxantin than eggs. A modest dose markedly
increases levels in our body. An inexpensive, effective, safe,
whole foods strategy to increase the zeaxantin
in our blood stream. But we don’t need it in our blood. We need it in our eyes. So how about a double-blind randomized
placebo-controlled trial? To preserve eyesight in the elderly
in traditional Chinese medicine, people are often prescribed
40 to 100 goji berries a day. But here they just used 15 berries
a day for three months. But still found it could
protect against loss of pigment and prevent the buildup of
what’s called soft drusen, which is just debris that builds up
in the back of our eye, both of which are associated with
age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of legal blindness
in older men and women, affecting more than 10 million Americans. Now note they gave the berries
with milk in this study, so the butterfat could increase the absorption of the carotenoid pigments. A healthier way to get the same effect would be to just eat goji berries with nuts or seeds, in other
words, Goji trail mix.


  1. Excellent information.

  2. Goji trail mix for the win 😂😂😂

  3. Eggs cause heart problems, cooked or raw?

  4. Would it work to have them in a smoothie?

  5. Excellent info; I wish goji berries weren't so expensive. Please tell, does wearing UV-protective sunglasses really protect our eyes?

  6. Your eye health vids today are helping me see why a vegan diet is the way to go.

  7. Love the videos. The more you know… thanks 😀

  8. OMGoodness! I'm 63 and starting to have some eye problems! My dad had macular degeneration and lost his sight in his early 70's! I'm off to buy some trail mix ASAP! Thank you so much for this information!

  9. Damn, I knew I should have bought some hazelnuts last time I was at the supermarket. :/

  10. 🙂

  11. People really underestimate the power of diet.

  12. Wow! Great video

  13. It's not that difficult figuring out what protects your eyes, but I wish he had mentioned more than goji berries. Beets, yams, sweet potatoes, black rice, and anything purple are excellent sources for protecting your eyes. I also like to include kale, spinach, and dark greens daily in order to get a nice variety of protective veggies. I suspect the seeds and/or nuts in store bought trail mix are most likely NOT raw. If that is the case, that particular trail mix should be avoided.

  14. Thanks for the info! Just had a friend tell me of a loss of vision tob thete.sister due to this condition. And my cousin also:-(

  15. Wonderful

  16. good stuff!

  17. D'oh! A few months after switching from 80/10/10 to starch based foods like rice, potatoes, beans, and oatmeal, my eyes have been getting worse. Sooner or later I'll figure out the correct combination of foods, hopefully before I go blind, get obese or loose my frick'n mind.

  18. oh… so goji berries are actually good for something. I was thinking it was just a fad thing

  19. It's about time I thanked you for your wonderful and insightful videos. Thank you.

  20. wondering why this video isn't showing up at NF.O?  I prefer to watch them over there where the commentary is of a different caliber.  I do understand that out here is good for "exposure".  cheers.

  21. Cutting the middleHEN…golden 🙂

  22. outstanding! So helpful and appreciated.

  23. Eggs are no good for you.. period.. 😀

  24. Hello,  my father got a surgery to remove cataracts,  he has some lens on his eyes now.   Would he still benefit from eating corn, spinach and Goji berries?

    Ps. Idk where to find Goji berries in Ecuador, do other types of berries also do the trick?

  25. Fresh or dried gojis?

  26. Well look at that, milk fat boosted the carotenoid absorption.

  27. Could you please make a video about Blood Type Diets? It seems like a really interesting topic!!! 🙂 thank you!!!!!

  28. Dr. Greger deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

  29. I used to eat Goji Berries until I found out that most suppliers were from China. I have to wonder if there could be high levels of toxins such as heavy metals since those contaminants are routinely in Chinese grown tea. The government of China has no problem allowing toxins in tea to be packaged for export and labeled "organic". I just need to find a verifiable source before I buy any more…

  30. Is this also how to reverse macular degeneration?

  31. what about taking lutein and zeaxanthin supplement pills?? are they as effective?

  32. Thanks for the well researched video! And remember, folks– best to 'Cut out the middle hen!"

  33. 60 g of spinach organic and 150 g of corn organic a day// 1 cup of corn and 1/2 cup of spinach for 3 months a dramatic boost in protective eye pigment also Goji berries with nuts and seeds (Dr. Greger)

  34. Good that the study used these free range, organic, fairy land eggs and not the industry trash. Shows that even the best eggs still suck compared to the plants themselves

  35. I have to look for something cheaper then goji berries with the same chemical. They are very expensive.



  38. Great video. Will corn, spinach, goji berries REVERSE the dry AMD I have. I can tell it's getting worse and although I'm WFPB I've been taking AREDS2 on the advice of my ophthamologist (who is delighted that I'm WFPB). I'd stand on my head every day if I though that would work.

  39. But I thought corn was inflammatory!! God everything is so contradicting

  40. I will say again, I love you.

  41. I only tried goji berries once. I was all about it and I grabbed a handful…..And it was like trying to chew a bicycle tire. I got these goji berries from thrive market online. I gave a little tiny handful to each kid and the looks on their faces was priceless as they tried to chew them, just like I had. We all had to spit them out. So anybody know any better tasting goji berries you can recommend????

  42. This is going to sound insane but I actually would rather be able to see the ultraviolet light then to block it and that's coming from a health conscious vegan. I'd rather were sunglasses outside and then see the extra blue light when coming inside.

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