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I previously discussed the seven key risks that you must address if you have (or are at risk) of glaucoma, in addition to your existing prescribed glaucoma treatments.
I touched on what I considered to be the best glaucoma vitamins and supplements for neuroprotection, as an important way of decreasing one of the key risks.
While there are no natural cures for glaucoma, nature has provided us with safe and effective ways of modifying our risk of glaucoma.
Below, I share my list of best supplements and vitamins for glaucoma neuroprotection, based on scientific evidence and my own clinical experience.
I previously highlighted glaucoma neuroprotection with nutrient supplements as a potentially contentious topic.
Ultimately, the goal of glaucoma treatment is to prevent glaucoma blindness, and everyone rightly emphasizes eye pressure reduction as the best way of doing so.
But no one emphasizes that glaucoma progression can still occur despite the best controlled eye pressures.
And there is almost no emphasis on addressing the nine important biocellular mechanisms of eye ageing that contribute to glaucoma:
If we do not provide the necessary nutrients to combat these biocellular mechanisms, how can we expect the eye and optic nerve to be more resilient against insult and to recover better when damage has occured?
For the best chance of preventing glaucoma blindness, you must successfully treat your eye pressure and effectively neuroprotect against these biocellular processes of ageing.
My professional opinion therefore is that neuroprotection and neuroenhancement are essential components of glaucoma management, alongside conventional medical and surgical therapies.
Many nutrients and vitamins have been investigated as a potential neuroprotective treatment for glaucoma.
However, only some have shown promise.
This is unsurprising because the targeting is not comprehensive or complete enough. Most of the supplements only target at most up to three of the biocellular processes listed above.
If you have a roof that is leaking from ten holes and you only patch three of them, your roof is not going to stop leaking.
So the best type of glaucoma supplement to take is one that provides truly comprehensive neuroprotection by tackling the nine important biocellular mechanisms of eye ageing (ten if you include elevated eye pressure).
No other vision formula in the world does this except for Nutravision, which I cannot recommend highly enough for its efficacy and convenience.
(Note the impressive eye pressure reduction that Pam experienced after only three weeks of taking Nutravision! Eye pressures were measured using the same instrument, at the same location, at the same time.)
However, if you prefer the hassle and inconvenience of taking individual glaucoma supplements separately, the ones that I suggest are: bilberry-maritime pine bark combination, citicoline, ginkgo biloba, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), and vitamin B3 (nicotinamide).
(Disclaimer: I am part of the team of leading Australian clinicians, scientists and naturopaths that formulated and developed Nutravision)
In my opinion, Nutravision
is the best and most advanced vision supplement currently
available globally, not just for glaucoma but also for macular
degeneration and diabetic eye disease.
It is the first vision formula that delivers ultimate neuroprotection by tackling all the nine important biocellular mechanisms of eye ageing (ten if you include elevated eye pressure).
This is achieved by combining quality assured ingredients that are already clinically proven to deliver significant outcomes:
when taken together, what you get with Nutravision is quite simply the best, most potent, synergistic and
comprehensive neuroprotection supplement for glaucoma the world has ever seen.
Here's another review:
The above comment is from a woman who had already undergone five operations for glaucoma, and in fact had been recommended to have a sixth by another glaucoma specialist elsewhere.
While not exactly the results of a randomized clinical trial, Nutravision has so far delivered the best set of results that I have ever seen from any glaucoma neuroprotection supplement.
The supplement combination of bilberry fruit extract and maritime pine bark extract taken orally has shown significant eye pressure reduction in randomized clinical trials.
A trial published in 2008 found that after three months of treatment with bilberry-maritime pine bark, the eye pressure decreased by an average of 3 mmHg, in almost all (19 out of 20) subjects). There was no change in pressure in the control group.
The combination of bilberry-maritime pine bark with latanoprost eye drops achieved better pressure reduction than either alone, from 38 mmHg to 24 mmHg, after six weeks.
Some have asked me if there is an alternative supplement to the bilberry-maritime pine bark combination, and the answer is yes.
The beneficial effects of this combination are due to anthocyanins from bilberry and proanthocyanidins from maritime pine bark.
Another excellent source of proanthocyanidins is grape seed extract. In fact, grape seed extract is the best natural source of proanthocyanidins, containing even more of these amazing antioxidants than maritime pine bark (95% vs 80%).
It is therefore only logical that a supplement containing bilberry combined with proanthocyanidins, whether from maritime pine bark or grape seed, should elicit equivalent beneficial clinical effects for glaucoma.
Citicoline is a compound that is naturally found in our brain.
communication between nerve cells, protects neural structures, and
supports healthy brain activity.
Citicoline has been authorized as a food supplement in the United States and in the European Union.
The Italian Ministry of Health has approved citicoline as a supplement for special medicinal purposes in glaucoma patients.
Oral citicoline 500 mg (in the form of a solution) was able to significantly slow down progression of glaucoma when taken over a period of 2 years.
A separate trial found that glaucoma patients who took 500 mg oral citicoline daily had improved visual fields and nerve thickness measurements after 12 to 18 months.
Some have asked me if there is a supplement alternative to citicoline because it is not approved for sale in Australia.
While there is no best direct replacement, the activated form of vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) is a useful alternative.
Like citicoline, methylcobalamin is important for healthy functioning of the nervous system, protects neural structures, and
supports healthy brain activity.
Citicoline as a natural glaucoma treatment
Ginkgo biloba leaf is a popular natural herb that has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
It contains a complex mixture of at least 37 phytochemicals in 2 main groups: flavonoids (which have antioxidant properties) and terpenoids (which reduce blood viscosity).
A trial published in 2003 found that for low pressure glaucoma patients, 40 mg of ginkgo biloba extract 3 times daily (120 mg total dose per day) taken for four weeks was able to improve pre-existing visual field loss.
Note that there is some concern regarding bleeding with ginkgo biloba, but the most rigorous evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses have confirmed that ginkgo biloba does not increase bleeding risk.
Ginkgo biloba as a natural glaucoma treatment
Palmitoylethanolamide is an endocannabinoid (or endogenous fatty acid amide) that is naturally produced throughout our body to reduce pain and inflammation in response to tissue damage and injury.
PEA is a similar-looking molecule to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (which is the main active ingredient in marijuana).
The great thing about PEA is that it has a lot of the benefits of cannabis but without any of the side effects. This means you won't get addicted to PEA if you decide to take oral PEA supplements.
In fact, PEA supplements have been approved in Italy and Spain as a food supplement for special medicinal purposes.
In 2011, a randomized clinical trial reported that for glaucoma patients using timolol eye drops, PEA taken 300 mg twice daily reduced eye pressure by an additional 16%.
A separate clinical trial found that ultramicronized PEA 300 mg taken twice daily for 6 months reduced eye pressure and improved visual field parameters in patients with low pressure glaucoma.
Some ophthalmology departments in Italy already routinely
recommend that their glaucoma patients take PEA supplements in addition
to their usual glaucoma treatments.
Palmitoylethanolamide as a glaucoma treatment
Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin, with nicotinamide being its active form. It plays an important role in supporting cell metabolism, mitochondrial health, and DNA repair.
In 2020, a world-first clinical trial conducted by the Centre for Eye Research Australia found that nicotinamide (Insolar) 3,000 mg daily improved the function of the optic nerve ganglion cells (measured using electroretinography) over six weeks.
A separate trial
published in 2021 reported that in treated moderate open angle glaucoma
patients, a combination of oral nicotinamide (1,000 to 3,000 mg) and
pyruvate (1,500 to 3,000 mg) significantly improved visual function when taken over two months.
No serious adverse effects were reported with the nicotinamide-pyruvate combination.
In my clinical practice, I have been recommending vitamin B3 nicotinamide to my glaucoma patients but at lower dosages.
because the mega dose is not be easily
tolerated, and my clinical opinion is that taking a lower dose
of 500 mg daily is probably better over the long term. This
is the same with pyruvate.
This is a decision that only you can make, together with your eye specialist, based on what is best for you.
If you ask me the best supplement to take for glaucoma, my biased opinion is that Nutravision stands head and shoulders above all others.
I recommend Nutravision to all my glaucoma patients for neuroprotection simply because I feel it is the best and most complete neuroprotection supplement out there.
In fact, because it is probably the best for other eye problems too (red eyes, sore eyes, eye strain, floaters, presbyopia, macular degeneration, etc), I recommend it to virtually everybody!
The THREE key reasons?
Remember that the purpose of glaucoma supplement nutrients are to complement, and not to replace, your existing glaucoma treatment.
And please discuss with your eye specialist and family doctor first to avoid the unlikely scenario of adverse drug interactions and unwanted side effects.
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