Book Review

Stop Vision Loss Now Front Cover by Bruce Fife

Stop Vision Loss Now!

Stop Vision Loss Now!:

Prevent and Heal Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Other Common Eye Disorders

By Bruce Fife, ND
Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2015
253 pages, trade paperback


Reviewed by Maria Atwood, CNHP
Wise Traditions, journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation

Unable to believe how Dr. Bruce Fife N.D. could possibly write about, and produce ways of preventing and YES, even in some cases healing: Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and other common eye disorders, I simply had to read this new and very timely book. I was not disappointed at learning of his new recommendations and the how to use coconut oil, and yes, even coconut water, not just as a food or beverage in the case of coconut water, but how to improve those precious peepers by actually using these two nutrient dense foods in our eyes!

The books starts out by explaining in easy to understand language the complexity of the human eye and has photo’s that show and tell us what each part of the eye does and how some health conditions affect circulation, such as diabetes and or atherosclerosis, which can damage the tiny blood vessels that feed the retina. One of the most common of these disorders is diabetic retinopathy. He further goes on to explain the differences of nearsighted and farsighted vision and how the light rays affect each of those.

The common eye disorders that are explained and made very clear to us are: Cataracts, Glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, optic neuritis, stroke and infections. I was especially intrigued by the chapter titled “Vision Busters” in which he goes to great lengths in explaining how free radicals can substantially damage the delicate eye tissue.

The nutritional aspects of the book are also very helpful as he makes it very clear to those that are not currently getting enough natural vitamin A that the best sources come from animal products, namely liver, egg yolks, butter, lard and cod liver oil. He also says that beta-carotene in plants can be converted into vitamin A, but points out that the conversion isn’t very efficient, and adequate amounts of fat is necessary in the diet at the same time in order for the body to make that conversion. As well his discussion on the effects of red palm oil and eye health was a pleasant surprise. Chapter after chapter, Dr. Fife covers the problems with ageing eyes, excessive sugar, refined carbohydrate consumption and the effects of drugs, smoking and excitotoxins.”

I would also like to give you a personal testimony and the reason the title of this book was so appealing to me, is that I have had for well over a year a serious case of “Epicleritis” which is described as a mild on-going inflammatory eye condition. In my case, however it was extremely painful and diagnosed as one of the more serious cases. I had to resort to steroids so as to reduce the almost unsustainable 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, but that they had drugs to address those conditions. Naturally, and as the holistic person I’ve been all my life; I was devastated, but did use the steroids only during the very most painful time while increasing my supplementation of vitamin A, Lutein and other natural support foods. The pain, although tolerable after the first two weeks of using the steroids still left me with extreme eye fatigue, a constant scratchy sense that I had something in my eyes, and working on the computer became virtually impossible except for a short periods of time.

Reading through the book a few pages at a time, I could see that some of the foods and remedies he advocates were absent in my diet and I immediately began to apply some of the recommendations it made. The book carefully reviews from the point of view and special importance to the eyes, fats, foods, the miracle of ketones and the top nutrients for good eye health. It also describes in very easy language how each of these common eye disorders like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration can be prevented, how they generally start. Facts I’d never read in any eye health book.

Skeptical that treating my eyes with the suggestions/recommendations out-lined in this book, I nevertheless began to do them almost immediately. I have been virtually stunned that just after 2 weeks even the residual, although mild pain in both eyes is completely gone, the scratchy feelings, eye fatigue, and eye 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 full time to using my computer.

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.

Click here to learn more about Stop Vision Loss Now!

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Book Review

Stop Vision Loss Now Front Cover by Bruce Fife

Stop Vision Loss Now!

Stop Vision Loss Now!:

Prevent and Heal Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Other Common Eye Disorders

By Bruce Fife, ND
Published by Piccadilly Books, Ltd. 2015
253 pages, trade paperback

Reviewed by Franziska Spritzler, RD, the Low-Carb Dietitian

The ability to see is something we usually take for granted until we start having problems. Loss of vision due to cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration becomes more common as we age, but eye problems can develop throughout the life cycle. I’ve had several eye disorders: bilateral strabismus (“lazy eye”) requiring surgery when I was seven, medium myopia (nearsightedness) since around that age, and most recently presbyopia (“old eyes” — farsightedness after the age of 40). I also have a strong family history of glaucoma, so doing whatever I can to preserve the sight I have is extremely important to me.

Dr. Bruce Fife is a naturopath, certified nutritionist, and director of the Coconut Research Center. He’s a prolific author, having written 20 books based on his extensive review of the literature on the benefits of coconut oil and its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). In his latest book, Stop Vision Loss Now!, he provides evidence that a well-balanced, nutrient-rich, very-low-carbohydrate diet supplemented with coconut oil may help to prevent and even reverse some of the most common eye disorders associated with aging.

The major concept of the book is that the eyes are an extension of the brain, so whatever keeps the brain healthy and well nourished will do the same for the eyes. There’s a growing body of research demonstrating that maintaining blood glucose and insulin levels as close to normal as possible can help preserve brain function and reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. According to Dr. Fife, many researchers now believe that although increased intraocular pressure is involved in glaucoma, its primary cause is that nerve cells within the brain become damaged, similar to what happens in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. He explains that coconut oil increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a gene that stimulates the growth, maintenance, and repair of these nerve cells. Dr. Fife suggests that the increase in ketone levels, that occurs in response to consuming MCTs, can protect eye health and improve or potentially reverse degenerative eye disorders as a result of increased BDNF. In addition to age-related conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, coconut oil can also be used for dry eyes, eye infections, and other non-vision-limiting conditions.

In addition to generous amounts of healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein, Dr. Fife recommends including a wide variety of nonstarchy vegetables and berries to reduce oxidative stress that can lead to eye disease. He advises selecting from three different levels of carbohydrate intake based on blood glucose levels and provides a sample menu for a typical day, along with guidance on meal planning and dining out. Lists of protective low-carbohydrate foods and a comprehensive net carb counter are included. I agree with his suggestion to add coconut oil slowly, one tablespoon per day to start, in order to prevent GI symptoms and determine personal tolerance.

I learned several things I didn’t know as a result of reading this book, including:

  • Adding coconut oil to vegetables improves absorption of their nutrients more than any other fat and does the best job of preserving the antioxidants they contain
  • Aerobic exercise is the most beneficial type of activity for increasing BDNF in the retina
  • Topical application of coconut water may improve cataracts

I found Stop Vision Loss Now! very well-researched, comprehensive, and interesting. Dr. Fife has a gift for making advanced nutrition concepts and physiological processes easy for the average reader with an interest in health to understand. It was truly a pleasure read for me. There are many personal accounts throughout the book, including the author’s story of how he reversed his own early-stage glaucoma. Although there isn’t a lot of published research on the benefits of coconut oil for eye disorders, he makes a great case for including it as part of a whole-foods-based, low-carbohydrate diet in Stop Vision Loss Now!

The book is available from the publisher at www.piccadillybooks.com.

Click here to learn more about Stop Vision Loss Now!

 

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