Two Supplements for Eye Health

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Vision Health, Blood Sugar, Diabetes Complications
Last Reviewed 02/22/2014

When blood glucose levels remain elevated for an extended period of time, sticky sugar molecules can attach to protein molecules in a process called glycation. Glycation of protein molecules creates irreversible cross-links between adjacent protein molecules. This cross-linking creates new protein structures called AGEs (Advanced Glycosylation End products). 

If you’re dealing with diabetes, you’ll want to be particularly aware of this because, among other things, AGEs can cause tissues like the collagen in your blood vessels to become stiff and lose their flexibility. This is a major culprit behind many diabetic complications, including cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

But, the good news is that there are two supplements for eye health that are especially good for protecting your vision health from diabetes complications. 

Two Supplements for Eye Health

  • Grape Seed Extract. Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant that protects blood vessels and capillaries from free-radical damage. Research shows that grape seed extract can also help prevent diabetic retinopathy. The initial dose for vision health is one mg per pound of body weight for the first week, in divided doses with meals, continuing with a maintenance dose of one-half this amount. Round your weight up or down to the nearest 50 pounds.  For example, if you weigh 210 pounds, take 200 mg a day for the first week, and then continue on 100 mg a day.

  • Benfotiamine. According to researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, benfotiamine blocks three of the major culprits responsible for blood vessel damage in patients with elevated blood sugar levels. As a result, it helps prevent retinopathy, neuropathy and other diabetes complications.

    Although benfotiamine is found in small quantities in garlic, shallots, leeks and onions, you’d have to eat an awful lot of these vegetables to obtain therapeutic doses. If you want to forego the bad breath, I suggest you use benfotiamine in capsule form for your vision health. Look for it in your local health-food store. Typical doses range from 150 to 450 mg daily.

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