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The Carotenoids Lutein, Zeaxanthin, & Astaxanthin and also Vitamin E Decrease the Risk of Cataract

Dec 06, 2004

A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye clouds with age, and cataracts are the leading cause of eventual vision loss. A healthy eye lens focuses light and produces a clear, sharp image. Over time, exposure to the suns ultraviolet radiation (and also smoking) triggers inflammation that causes a cataract to develop in the eye lens. Many studies indicate that Lutein and Zeaxanthin, the two carotenoids used for macular degeneration, decrease the risk of developing age related cataracts by protecting the lens.

In this study the three carotenoids Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Astaxanthin, and also D-Alpha-Tocopherol, a form of vitamin E, were added to the human lens. They were all well absorbed into the lens but Lutein had the best absorption. The eye lens was then exposed to the suns ultraviolet B radiation. It was found that these carotenoids decreased lipid peroxidation in the lens by 47% to 57% compared with untreated eye lenses. By decreasing lipid peroxidation in the eye lens, these eye friendly antioxidants greatly decreased the inflammatory damage in the eye that contributes to creating a cataract.

JNK is an inflammatory chemical released in the eye when it is irritated, diseased, or damaged. JNK causes inflammation that damages the eye and JNK is involved in eye diseases. The carotenoids also inhibited the release of JNK in the eye lens by 50% to 60%.

The study was conducted at the Ohio State University Department of Human Nutrition and is published in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Coenzyme Q10 Reverses Statins Negative Effect on the Heart

Lipitor is a statin drug frequently prescribed to decrease blood cholesterol. Doctors at the Heart Failure Institute, which offers a very comprehensive congestive heart failure program in Oak Lawn, Illinois, treat many congestive heart failure patients. They used doppler echocardiography to study the function of the heart before and after giving Lipitor. The test shows that Lipitor decreases left ventricular diastolic function of the heart in most patients - the blood pumping ability of the heart. Giving Coenzyme Q10 as a supplement to the patients with worsening diastolic function improved this diastolic function in their hearts. The study is published in the November 15th issue of the American Journal of Cardiology and was performed at the Heart Failure Institute, Department of Medicine, Advocate Christ Medical Center, University of Illinois, at the East Texas Medical Center, and at the Trinity Mother Francis Health System in Tyler, Texas.

Benzene Toxic Even at Allowable Levels

Benzene is a sweat smelling chemical used to produce paint, solvents, gasoline, plastics, rubber, paint, pesticides, shoes, adhesives, and many chemicals. Exposure to benzene occurs from inhaling its fumes, it is all around us, even present in cigarrette smoke. The EPA sets the limit of occupational exposure to benzene fumes as less than 1 part per milion (1ppm).

In this study researchers from the University of California, at Berkeley observed 250 workers in China exposed to benzene,and 140 individuals without benzene exposure for 16 months. At this point they took blood tests for evaluation. 109 workers had an exposure of less than 1ppm (the allowable level in the USA), 110 workers had an exposure of 1 to 10ppm, and 31 workers had an exposure of greater than 10ppm. Alarmingly the platelets, and all types of white blood cells were significantly decreased even in the workers with less than 1ppm exposure to benzene fumes compared to unexposed individuals - the allowable level in the USA. The study is published in the December 3rd, 2004 issue of the journal Science.

The question is what kinds of effects is the benzene having on the bone marrow of these people. Even at low levels benzene is toxic to almost all types of blood cells.

Caners connected to Benzene fumes:

  • Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leuemia (ALL)
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia ((CLL)
  • Hodgkins Disease
  • Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL)
  • Lung Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
Other Effects of Benzene Exposure:
  • Infertility
  • Blood disorders
  • Brain Nerve Damage
  • Immune System Dysfunction
  • Aplastic Anemia - bone marrow stops producing blood cells
The amount of benzene produced in this country is rising and by 1964 it had already reached over 1,000,000,000 gallons per year. The EPA estimates that 50% of the US population has been expsed to benzene.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

The body has the ability to rid itself of dangerous-cancer causing chemicals. It does this by releasing detoxification enzymes throughout the body, but mainly in the liver. The detoxification enzyme that neutralizes and removes benzene from our body is Quinone Reductase. The nutrients Ellagic Acid, and Sulforaphane, both derived from food, neutalize and detoxify benzene by stimulating an increase in this liver-detoxifying enzye (Quinone Reductase).