Macular Degeneration and BDNF

Alva2 eye

A new study from LSU Health Sciences Center found that one of the omega-3 fatty acids protects your retina from lethal injuries as they happen. But it does much more… Researchers found that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also protects your eyes from damage that may occur in the future. They said that DHA “preconditions” photoreceptor cells — special neurons in the retina — to survive future injuries.

It does the same thing for your retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. The RPE nourishes your retina. It’s also the first line of defense against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of blindness. In other words, DHA acts like a vaccine. It provides protection against a future injury to the retina or other parts of the eye. When rats were given DHA before oxidative stress struck, the DHA protected against the damage that usually would occur in the eye.

If you have ever been diagnosed with an eye condition such as macular degeneration or cataracts, the doctor might have told you: “All we can do is watch and track the disease’s progress. It will inevitably get worse, and there is no way to reverse or regenerate the deterioration.
> Researchers found that cells in the eyes—specifically retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which are responsible for transmitting information from the eyes to the brain—are capable of regeneration, too. This is groundbreaking.

BDNF crucial to healing and regeneration of eyes.

We can reverse and heal damage due to traumatic injuries or degenerative diseases by boosting our BDNF levels. This is powerful information! Here’s how to do it:

Do aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes per day.
Get 30 minutes of sunlight per day.
Try intermittent fasting. Fasting rests your digestive system and stimulates healing.
Consume omega-3 fatty acids.
Add pre-probiotic fiber to your diet. Gut bacteria converts prebiotics into butyrate, a substance that has been shown to increase BDNF.
Eat curcumin to enhance mood and cognition and improve BDNF production.
Eliminate sugar and processed foods.
Drink antioxidant-rich green tea.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Cultivate positive relationships.
Add resveratrol and other polyphenols to your diet for their neuroprotective properties.
Get good-quality sleep.
Reduce your stress levels. Irregular cortisol levels can disrupt BDNF production.
Add magnesium to your diet. It’s estimated more than 50 percent of Americans are deficient in this mineral.
Add zinc to your diet. This trace mineral has antidepressant qualities and can increase BDNF levels in the brain.

Add these foods with eye-healthy nutrients to your diet.

>Asparagus. It contains glutathione, known as the ‘master antioxidant’ of the body, which is especially important in the lens and macula of the eye. Asparagus also contains folic acid which has been shown to prevent or reduce age-related macular degeneration.
Avocados. I eat one avocado a day. It has Omega-9 oils which prevent optic nerve problems and support a healthy brain, eye, and body.
Carrots. The beta-carotene is really great for all the eye tissues.
Coconut oil. This is a great fat that protects the optic nerve and the macula. It also helps reduce inflammation in the body.
Cordyceps. This is a medicinal mushroom that helps improve the respiratory system and the kidneys
Corn. Of course, I’m talking about non-GMO corn. But the yellow and the orange parts of the corn contain lutein, which is an important carotenoid that helps protect our retinas.
Blueberries. These are high in antioxidants that protect microcapillaries of the retina. It also helps our night vision.
Goji berries. This is a superfood which contains amino acids that help protect the macula and overall retina.
Lime. This is another very important fruit that has high levels of flavonoids, which balance the pH level in the body. Limes are also loaded with antioxidants.
Pumpkin seeds. These seeds contain high amounts of zinc and are a good source of protein and trace minerals. This is one of my go-tos in terms of getting plant-based protein.
Strawberries. Last but not least, strawberries are excellent for the health of your macula and retina.    (

(Note that the preceding recommendations are based on proxies such as BDNF and others listed, antioxidants, lutein, glutathione, etc.


2 thoughts on “Macular Degeneration and BDNF

  1. These are a good set of recommendations. Regarding reduction of stress levels I’d highly recommend meditation and the work of the Institute of HeartMath on HRV biofeedback.

    • I wish I had known some of this when my mother had macular degeneration. I also read elsewhere that vitamin K2 varieties could be helpful along with vitamin D or especially cod liver oil.

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