DEAR DR. BLONZ: What is your opinion on the best nutrients in diet and supplements for the eye’s vitreous humor? I have had retinal tears in both eyes -- spontaneous, both in the past year, and had immediate laser surgery upon examination. I am 62 years old, and I am told there is nothing I can do to prevent this from happening. But I am not the type of person to do nothing; I am positive and proactive by nature, not to mention hopeful, and am not living in fear of a retinal detachment. I have now included daily servings of carotenoids, especially lutein, in my diet, and am looking into hyaluronic acid. Will these help, in your opinion? -- V., via email
DEAR V.: My sympathy on your vision issues. It is difficult when we attempt to do things right, only to experience bumps in the road. I am not a physician, nor do I have training in the optical health sciences. Given this, and the fact that I don’t know your health/lifestyle history and any associated issues or medications being used, I suggest reading the following two articles on the subject: tinyurl.com/jr65mcs, and tinyurl.com/glu85lz. (I am on the editorial board of the Berkeley Wellness Letter that produces these articles.)
Suffice it to say that the same whole-food, plant-based diet that works for most general health issues, along with limited stress and an active lifestyle, will be helpful here, as well. This should be a priority before you consider adding dietary supplements. At this point, I would encourage you to keep monitoring your vision as directed by your health professional. Being told that there is nothing you can do is a bit irksome, I agree. I am not sure what is or has been going on in your life, but you should ask about various health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, trauma, prior smoking, ongoing medications, etc. that may have contributed to your risk of this happening. Your doctor should be there for you as you attempt to better understand what might be going on and what you can do to lower the risk of additional problems.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: An acupuncturist suggested I drink water early in the morning with a little Himalayan salt dissolved in it. She said that mass-market iodized salt contains small particles of plastic from the polluted ocean. But I thought we needed iodized salt to get iodine. Can you please clarify? -- S.S., via email
DEAR S.S.: Small particles of plastic from the polluted ocean in commercial salt? Total nonsense! I would check into anything else you might hear from this individual, and take her statements with a grain of you-know-what. As for iodine, most people in the U.S. have little need for the iodine in iodized salt, as we get plenty from other food sources. This being said, there is no problem using salt with iodine added. The key with any salt is to avoid excess sodium intake.
Send questions to: “On Nutrition,” Ed Blonz, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Send email inquiries to email@example.com. Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.