Stop Vision Loss Now: Prevent and Heal Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Other Common Eye Disorders
Bruce Fife, ND
Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2015
Unable to believe my eyes that Dr. Bruce Fife might offer hope by suggesting ways of preventing and even healing serious and frightening degenerative eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, I simply had to read this new and very timely addition to Dr. Fife’s library of guides to health via coconut oil. I was not disappointed at learning of his new recommendations for using coconut oil, including coconut water, not just as food or beverage, but by using these two nutrient-dense foods directly in our eyes!
The book begins with an explanation in easy-to-understand language of the complexity of the human eye including photos that depict each part of the eye, its function, and how some health conditions, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis, affect circulation, causing damage to the tiny blood vessels that feed the retina. One of the most common of these disorders is diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Fife further goes on to explain the differences between nearsighted and farsighted vision and how light rays affect each condition.
The common eye disorders explained in clude cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, optic neuritis, stroke, and infections. I was especially intrigued by the chapter titled “Vision Busters” in which Dr. Fife goes to great lengths to explicate how free radicals can substantially damage delicate eye tissue.
The nutritional aspects of the book are also very helpful as Dr. Fife makes it very clear to those who are not getting enough natural vitamin A that the best sources come from animal products; namely liver, egg yolks, butter, lard, and cod liver oil. Dr. Fife points out that while beta-carotene in plants such as carrots can be converted into vitamin A in the body, the conversion isn’t very efficient, and adequate amounts of fat are necessary at the same time beta-carotenes are consumed in order for the body to make that conversion at all. The discussion on the positive effects of red palm oil on eye health was a pleasant surprise. Chapter after chapter, Dr. Fife addresses the problems of ageing eyes, excessive sugar intake, refined carbohydrate consumption, and the harmful effects of drugs, smoking, and excitotoxins such as MSG.
I would also like to offer a personal testimony and the reason the title of this book was so eye-catching to me. For well over a year I have had a serious case of epicleritis, which is normally a mild, on-going inflammatory eye condition. My condition, however, was extremely painful and diagnosed as one of the more serious cases. I had to resort to steroids to reduce the almost unbearable eye pain and inflammation in both eyes. I was also cautioned to use the steroids only as directed and that in my case I would need to take them for the rest of my life as this condition, once contracted, was incurable!
I was also told that eventually the steroids could lead to glaucoma and/or other eye disorders, yet of course I was assured that there were drugs ready to address those conditions. Naturally, as the holistic-health-oriented person I’ve been all my life, I was devastated by this prognosis, but did resort to the steroids only during the most painful time while also increasing my supplementation of vitamin A, lutein, and other natural supports from food. The pain, although tolerable after the first two weeks of using the steroids, still left me with extreme eye fatigue and a constant scratchy feeling that I had something in my eyes. Working on the computer became virtually impossible except for short periods of time.
Reading through the book a few pages at a time, I could see that some of the foods and remedies that Dr. Fife advocates were absent from my diet and I immediately began to apply some of the recommendations. The book carefully reviews fats, particular foods, the miracle of a ketogenic diet, and the top nutrients especially necessary for good eye health. It also describes in very easy-to-understand language how each of these common eye disorders like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration can be prevented and how they generally start. I’d never read any of these facts before in any eye health book.
Skeptical that treating my eyes with the recommendations outlined in this book might have any effect on my condition, I nevertheless began to follow the guidelines almost immediately. I have been stunned that after just two weeks even the residual, although mild, pain in both eyes is completely gone, and the scratchy sensations, eye fatigue, and dryness are now much improved. Certainly I am no chemist and cannot explain this in medical terms. What I can say is that my recovery is real, and I have been able to return to using my computer full time.
I would encourage everyone to have this book as a permanent part of their library. It’s one of the best of Dr. Fife’s many books to date.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2015