If you’re a big fan of Dr. Greger over at Nutrition Facts, you may have seen his video on “Treating Dry Eye Disease with Diet.” The video contains graphic pictures of eye surgery and extremely unhealthy eyes, so be aware of that before making the decision to view it. Over ten million Americans suffer from dry eyes, so the problem might seem small, but it cuts a wide swath.
Among other things, the video explains that vitamin A deficiency can completely destroy your peepers. Luckily, in the developed world this problem is rare, but in the developing world a common first sign of vitamin A deficiency is the dreaded dry eyes.
Dr. Greger also cites a 1991 study titled “The Influence of Diet on Tear Function.” To increase that beneficial eye moisture, the study suggests lowering your intake of protein, fat and cholesterol while increasing complex carbohydrates. (Smoking is also considered bad news across the board). The research also advocates eliminating alcohol and caffeine and reducing sugar and salt. Furthermore, the study recommends increasing vitamin A intake via red, orange and yellow veggies as well as leafy green ones and to get more folate, B6, potassium, vitamin C and zinc through dietary sources. Also, drinking water–another study showed that better hydration leads to more tear production. It’s almost too clever.
But beyond that video, we can easily find another nutritional strategy. In a 2011 study called “Current Opinion in Ophthalmology Nutritional Supplements for Dry Eye Syndrome” found that omega fatty acids–a balanced mix of omega -3s and -6s–have the potential to help dry eye disease. The American Optometric Association recommends omega fatty acids also.
So if you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from dry eyes, there seem to be a variety of nutritional strategies available. The Garden Trio with BarleyLife Xtra provides vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and folate. AIMega provides essential fatty acids.