As stated in my previous posts, macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among older adults in North America. I have discussed how someone suffering from ARMD can help protect their eyes with specific nutrients, herbs, and acupuncture, but now there is a new study recently released that can add another tool in your arsenal against vision loss. Stuart A. Lipton, MD, PhD, recently published an article in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science journal reporting that carsonic acid, a natural compound found in the herb Rosemary, helps promote the health of the eyes.
Rosemary beneficial for ARMD
We all know the common, fragrant smelling herb, which is easily grown in our backyards, that’s found in many of our recipes. However, this new and exciting research shows that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are extremely beneficial to the eyes. Specifically, the compound carsonic acid, has been found to protect the retina from degeneration and toxicity. The study tested retinal cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide causing oxidative stress, which is thought to be one of the main factors in causing ARMD. The cells that were treated with carsonic acid exhibited greater protection due to higher antioxidant production.
The researchers then used an animal model to test retinal cells exposed to high levels of light, which can exacerbate damage to the retina. Once again, the cells treated with carsonic acid showed more protection from light damage and retained a thicker outer nuclear layer of the eye. This proved rosemary had a strong effect in keeping the eyes healthier.
Left: Control cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide. Right: Cells treated with carnosic acid are protected from hydrogen peroxide. Live cells are stained green, dead cells are stained red
What’s the best way to take Rosemary for vision loss?
Other than adding rosemary to your food as a spice, there are many different rosemary supplements on the marketplace. Here are some of the one’s I find to be of higher quality.
The Eclectic Institute provides a high quality organic rosemary extract that can be found online. 15-30 drops taken 1 to 3 times a day is the recommended dosage.
Herb Pharm also provides a high quality organic rosemary extract. The recommended dosage with this product is 30-40 drops take 2-5 times a day.
Vision loss due to ARMD is not a life sentence. If you or any of your loved ones are diagnosed with this degenerative disease, persist in learning more about ways to help nourish the tissues of the eyes, and slow down any further degeneration. Basic lifestyle changes and proper nutrition can go a long way to benefit those suffering from ARMD and for those who want to prevent it.