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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine May 2004
An Eye to the Future
By Dean S. Cunningham, MD, PhD

For many age-related degenerative conditions, I believe an ounce of prevention is actually worth more than a pound of cure. This is not a novel idea. As Thomas Edison once wrote, “the doctor of the future will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

When deciding which proactive measures to institute in your own health plan, something is certainly better than nothing. The rewards of nutritional supplementation are delayed. For age-related diseases, you may not know whether what you do at age 40 has helped you until age 65, when you are on the golf course while some of your contemporaries are in a nursing home.

Given the collective body of literature pertaining to the prevention of age-related eye disease and the recurring emphasis on oxidative stress, it would be prudent to consider the following as a starting point or basic regimen for the four ocular conditions discussed in this article, despite their disparities in cause and pathology. The supplements you choose should emphasize diverse antioxidant activity, as exemplified by vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, glutathione, lutein, zeaxanthin, and selenium. A topical compound containing N-acetylcarnosine would offer the benefit of superior, direct delivery to the tissues at risk. You can then modify and refine your individual ocular prevention program based on your own needs and preferences.

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