Macular degeneration has become the leading cause of blindness in adults, and the risk increases as we grow older. In the United States, white Americans over 80 years old are most susceptible to experiencing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as documented by the above chart provided by the National Eye Institute.
Macular degeneration occurs when the the macula, the central part of the retina that provides the sharp vision needed to see objects clearly, is damaged. As noted in the following diagram, AMD is classified into two categories: wet or dry:
The dry form of AMD is characterized by the deterioration of the back of the eyeball. The dry form is more common and less severe than the wet form, which manifests because blood vessels have released fluid into the macula that begin to create scar tissue.
In Ronald Grisanti’s report entitled, “Macular Degeneration? It’s Curable,” the functional medicine physician stated that severe eye ailments such as AMD can result when the retina lacks healthy levels of two nutrients known as lutein and zeaxanthin, which appear to decline as we age. Of all the parts of the body, the retina holds the largest concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin, which we typically ingest from dietary sources such as spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables.
According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF), macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss that affects over 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined. In Dr. Grisanti’s estimation, 10 percent of Americans over the age of 60 are unknowingly on the pathway toward early macular degeneration. When you factor in the amount of time that the general public spends on interacting with their cell phones, tablets, and computers, deteriorating visual acuity is destined to become a widespread health problem.
While mainstream sources such as AMDF contend that macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease, others have a different opinion. For instance, Dr. Grisanti stated that AMD patients will see an improvement when they take a supplement that contains both lutein and zeaxanthin, warning them that if they stop, that any improvement will cease. My organic sulfur supplier, Patrick McGean, offers his feedback as well:
In the Cellular Matrix Study we are seeing similar results (to lutein and zeaxanthin) when study members add organic sulfur to the diet twice daily. Taking organic sulfur can reduce inflammation and regenerate retinal cells. Sulfur can not be stored within the body, nor can the sulfates, sulfites, and sulfides which must leave as well. Oxygen goes into the cells, while accumulated trash goes out.
Macular Degeneration? It’s Curable
Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
Functional Medicine University
What is Macular Degeneration?
American Macular Degeneration Foundation
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
The National Eye Institute
Blood-derived macrophages infiltrate the retina and activate Muller glial cells under experimental choroidal neovascularization
Caicedo A1, Espinosa-Heidmann DG, Piña Y, Hernandez EP, Cousins SW.
PubMed | Exp Eye Res. 2005 Jul;81(1):38-47.