Over the years, I have come to realize that a good vitamin formula supplement, one that contains all the key ingredients, is still not enough for good eye health. Many patients face limiting factors in terms of their digestion and absorption capabilities.
This is one reason I have added three additional types of ingredients to my macular degeneration vitamin formula: digestive enzymes, probiotics, and betaine. Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down large, poorly-absorbed molecules into their smaller building blocks. This facilitates their absorption by the body. Digestive enzymes are found in raw uncooked fruits and vegetables, another reason why a raw living diet is important to aid digestion further, I use a proprietary powdered form of digestive enzymes in my formula.
The second type of ingredient I’ve added to my formula, to assist patients with nutrient absorption, is a probiotic blend. Probiotics are essential bacteria that reside in the intestine, helping it to assimilate and absorb food. They are beneficial because they improve intestinal microbial balance, thus improving digestion.
The last item is betaine, which also aids digestion. During the digestion process, hydrochloric acid converts pepsinogen, a zymogen, to pepsin, an enzyme, in the stomach. Pepsin breaks down proteins into smaller, more easily absorbed substances. As people age, their hydrochloric acid secretion may be reduced, which can result in decreased levels of pepsin. Without proper pepsin levels, the body has a difficult time digesting food. I use betaine hydrochloride as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid. The stomach can use this, in turn, to produce pepsin.
What are the key components that make a good vitamin formula? When I say “good,” I mean a formula that is compounded and produced by a reputable company. You cannot go too far wrong if you shop in a health food store. Some of the staff are very well informed and may be able to help you make a good choice. The thing to avoid is purchasing vitamins at chain drugstores or supermarkets. Yes, these vitamins may have the same ingredients and amounts, but they are produced in a compounding process that may have cut a lot of corners. In such cases, you will not be able to digest and absorb the nutrients properly. Yes, the supplements at health food stores will be more expensive, just as organic food is more expensive than non-organic food. I am trying to convince you to invest in your health. It is your most important asset.
I recommend specific formulas and supplemental products, as well as eye drops, for all three major eye conditions (macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts) on my website.
I update these formulas as needed, based on evidence provided by new research. For now, you may want to take a look at the following link:
Vitamin and nutritional research for the eye is rapidly changing; I strongly suggest you contact my office or your local alternative eye doctor for an update on the latest recommendations.