I love hearing directly from my patients. And then sharing their stories with you…
Take my patient Tom P. Tom had some serious health conditions — congestive heart failure, A-fib, emphysema and rheumatoid arthritis.
He started taking one of my antioxidant formulas for its overall health benefits. But Tom was pleasantly surprised by what happened just three months later.
Here’s what Tom told me:
“I depended on glasses to see for years…
“One night, I went to my daughter’s house to celebrate her retirement…
“I was looking at one of her cards. My daughter said, ‘Dad, how are you reading without your glasses?’
“I didn’t realize I didn’t have them on. But I could see!
“My wife didn’t believe it. So she handed me something else to read. And I could read that, too!
“Now I can read anything you put in front of me!”
The nutrient responsible for Tom’s incredible vision recovery is called astaxanthin.
I’m not surprised at Tom’s success. An increasing body of science shows that astaxanthin is a true “super nutrient” when it comes to your eyes.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid. It’s in the same family as beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, zeaxanthin, lycopene and lutein.
Studies show that a diet high in carotenoids can reduce your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among people over 50.
Most doctors — including eye doctors — don’t know anything about nutrition and the eyes. And while some natural health gurus will tell you to get more zeaxanthin and lutein, that’s not the full story.
You see, astaxanthin is MUCH more powerful than its carotenoid relatives.
In fact, it’s the most powerful antioxidant in the world. It’s 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C. And 550 times more than vitamin E or green tea.1
Other antioxidants can only handle one free radical at a time.
But astaxanthin is a super-hero. It takes on more than 19 bad guys at once.
It forms an electron cloud around itself. Free radicals get absorbed into the cloud. It neutralizes multiple attackers at one time.
And unlike other carotenoids, astaxanthin can cross the blood-brain-retinal barrier. It enhances blood flow to the eye.2
It accumulates in the retina. There it can repair the kind of damage from excess UV light that leads to AMD, cataracts and glaucoma. It protects cells in the retina from free radical damage.3 And it reduces inflammation that leads to a variety of eye diseases.4
But astaxanthin doesn’t just prevent eye disease… It also gives you sharper vision.
The research shows astaxanthin improves focus and reduces eye strain.5
One study followed middle-aged people with presbyopia. That’s the condition that makes you need reading glasses. Those who took astaxanthin significantly improved their near vision.6
Tom discovered this for himself.
Increase astaxanthin for better vision
Astaxanthin is produced by microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis. When these algae are exposed to sunlight, they produce a bright pink compound.
We get astaxanthin by eating pink sea creatures that feed on this algae. These include some trout, red sea bream, crab, lobster, shrimp, and other pink seafood.
- Eat wild-caught salmon. Wild salmon contains over 450% more astaxanthin than farmed salmon.7
A typical 6-ounce serving wild Pacific sockeye salmon gives you 4 to 5 mg.
- Take the right supplement. You’d have to eat wild-caught salmon every single day to get enough of this special eye nutrient. That’s why I recommend supplements.
Most studies show doses of 4 to 16 mg per day are effective. I take 50 mg a day.
Cheap brands use fake astaxanthin made from petrochemicals. And it’s 20 times weaker than the natural version. It’s worth paying the extra money to avoid taking a worthless chemical pill.
Astaxanthin is fat soluble. Take it with some healthy fats like butter, coconut oil or eggs. The fat will help your body absorb the astaxanthin.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Bagchi D. “Oxygen free radical scavenging abilities of vitamin C, E, β-carotene, pycnogenol, grape seed extract and astaxanthin in vitro.” Pharmacy Sciences Creighton University School of Health Sciences. 2001 June.
2. Saito M., et al. “Astaxanthin increases choroidal blood flow velocity.” Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 2012.
3. Otsuka T, et al. “Astaxanthin Protects Against Retinal Damage: Evidence from In Vivo and In Vitro Retinal Ischemia and Reperfusion Models.” Curr Eye Res. 2016.
4. Ishida S. “Lifestyle-related diseases and anti-aging ophthalmology: suppression of retinal and choroidal pathologies by inhibiting renin-angiotensin system and inflammation.” Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi. 2009 Mar.
5. Kidd P. “Astaxanthin, cell membrane nutrient with diverse clinical benefits and anti-aging potential.” Altern Med Rev. 2011.
6. Masayoshi Kajita, Hiroki Tsukahara, Mio Kato. “The Effects of a Dietary Supplement Containing Astaxanthin on the Accommodation Function of the Eye in Middle-aged and Older People.” Translated from Medical Consultation & New Remedies, 46 (3), March 2009.
7. Turujman, S. A., Wamer, W. G., Wei, R. R., and Albert, R. H. “Rapid liquid chromatographic method to distinguish wild salmon from aquacultured salmon fed synthetic astaxanthin.” J. AOAC Int. 1997.