Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.
An eye disorder that affects the optic nerve, glaucoma is the result of an increase of pressure within the eye. Often, it impairs vision. As pressure within the eye builds, the field of vision becomes more clouded. If enough pressure builds, blindness can result.
While the medical community is able to find risk factors associated with the cause of glaucoma, including genetic risk factors, there is no one clear cause.
However, much research has been done specifically on glaucoma and on oxidative stress in the body. The research tells us that oxidative stress does in fact have a strong positive link to the development of glaucoma. (1)
Oxidative stress is the deterioration of cells and cell function that results from excessive oxidation. Oxidation is a natural chemical reaction that takes place everywhere, all the time.
In the body, the oxidation of anything generates free radicals. Think of free radicals as high-energy troublemakers that can wreak havoc on otherwise peaceful, happy cells.
- We naturally produce some free radicals.
- We can also consume food that is highly oxidized, meaning that is full of free radicals.
When our bodies are not equipped with enough antioxidants, free radicals build up. The buildup of free radicals generates free radical damage, or oxidative stress. If this happens often enough, over time it can lead to premature aging and degenerative diseases. Glaucoma is one disease of many that results from excessive free radical damage.
Some of the research done on glaucoma has shown that the fluid within the eye of glaucoma patients is lacking important antioxidants.
Antioxidants act as a buffer system and protect cells from oxidative stress. In the fluid of the eye of glaucoma patients, researchers have found that one specific antioxidant is generally depleted. (2)(3) This antioxidant is glutathione.
Glutathione is the master antioxidant in our body. Not only is it present in every single cell, but it also plays several important roles within the body. Such as:
- Protection against oxidative stress.
- Detoxification of heavy metals, pesticides, and other foreign chemicals that find their way into the body.
- Protection and development of immune cells.
Glutathione levels in the body are often used as a biomarker, or an indicator of how stressed a certain tissue may be. Low levels of glutathione are linked to all of the diseases associated with aging, including:
- Macular degeneration
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Senile dementia
- Some cancers
This is because a healthy liver will not only produce enough glutathione for its own needs, but it will also generate surplus glutathione. This surplus glutathione is then pumped out to fulfill the needs of the rest of the body.
Did you know that according to ancient Chinese principles, the liver expresses itself in the health of the eyes? Western science often proves what ancient Chinese medicine explained long ago, without the use of laboratories or microscopes.
Modern science now tells us that the liver plays a pivotal role in the production of the number one antioxidant in our body, glutathione. Modern science also tells us that almost all diseases of the eye, including glaucoma, are associated with an increase in oxidative stress and a depletion of glutathione reserves.
Unfortunately, we cannot supplement glutathione directly with a pill or capsule.
This is because glutathione rapidly breaks down in the digestive tract. There are two ways to build up your glutathione reserves:
- Through an intravenous (IV) injection of glutathione.
- Supplementing with the precursors the body needs to make glutathione.
The best way to avoid overall oxidative damage and to protect yourself from glaucoma: support your liver and give your body the tools that it needs to build up glutathione reserves.
LivAmend works to build these reserves by formulating ingredients to perform both of these functions. LivAmend uses a potent extract of milk thistle called silymarin, which has been shown to both support the production of healthy liver cells and act as an antioxidant in the liver. In addition, it turns out that silymarin also increases glutathione production. (4)(5)
Artichoke extract, wasabi, and sarsaparilla extract all enhance the effects of the silymarin, as well as support the liver and gallbladder.
What to Remember Most About This Article:
Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects approximately 2.2 million Americans, and it is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.
Research tells us that glaucoma and other eye diseases are related to oxidative stress within the body. If that isn’t enough reason to want to boost antioxidant stores in the body, excessive free radical damage, or oxidative stress, plays a role in every disease that we know of!
Glutathione is the most important antioxidant in the body. While direct supplementation of glutathione is only possible through IV application, we can still support the body to build up glutathione reserves. We do this by supporting liver function and by nourishing our body with the precursors it needs to make glutathione.
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- A. Izzotti, et al. The role of oxidative stress in glaucoma. Mutat Res. 2006 March; 612 (2):105 – 114.
- A Bunin, et al. A glutathione deficiency in open-angle glaucoma and the approaches of its correction. Vestnik Oftalmologii. 1992; 108 (4 – 6): 3 – 15.
- M Unal, et al. Glutathione S transferase M1 and T1 genetic polymorphisms are related to the risk of primary open-angle glaucoma: a study in a Turkish population. British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2007; 91 (4): 527 – 530.
- C. Victorrajmohan, et al. Influence of silymarin administration on hepatic glutathione-conjugating enzyme system in rats treated with antitubercular drugs. Drugs R D. 2005; 6 (6): 395 – 400.
- F Alidoost, et al. Effects of silymarin on the proliferation and glutathione levels of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from β-thalassemia major patients. International Immunopharmacology. 2006; 6 (8): 1305 – 1310.
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