Do You Need Bilberry?

On Episode 12 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller talks about Bilberry and other anti-oxidants. Although Lutein is usually what is used in the program, Dr. Miller does speak to the effectiveness of Bilberry and how you can use it in addition to the other supplements. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 



Dr. Miller:  A question about supplements like Bilberry and Black Current.  Bilberry is a great and very interesting one.  You hear about it with eye problems all the time.  Bilberries are really just wild Blueberries, so you can get things that are in Bilberries in frozen Blueberries, best if they are organic or wild grown.  But there is a lot of the lore and the stories about Bilberry, a lot of which comes from WWII propaganda.  The British claimed that they had found a secret weapon that allowed their pilots to see at night.  And that secret weapon was Bilberries.  In fact, there was a whole story about some grandma making Bilberry jam for her grandson who was an RAF pilot and he suddenly could see at night when he was eating grandma’s jelly.  They’re great stories, but they’re not true.

So Bilberry is a great food. It does have things in it that are good for your health and for your eyes, but it’s not the magical supplement that you hear about.  There are other things that are as useful.  Bilberry doesn’t do anything that something won’t do.  Lutein is probably as good or better than the Bilberry in terms of what it does for your eyes.  We’ve looked a lot at Bilberries, we’ve added it, we’ve taken it away, and one of the things we’re trying to do in the basic protocol that we use, is to keep it manageable.  We don’t want to throw everything in, including the kitchen sink.  We’re trying to have be as minimalist as possible, so that it’s affordable, gets the job done, does everything we want the supplements to do, but you do not have to take a hundred pills a day.  

So if you find Bilbery is helpful for you and want to add the Bilberry in, that’s good. The thing that we found better in terms of reducing capillary fragility and improving night vision is lutein. Lutein is better for night vision and Quercetin (which is found in Bilberry) is a whole lot better for the capillary fragility.  So Bilberry’s good, but it’s not magical, and everything it does is done better by the protocol as far as I’m concerned.


Do We Need More DHA?

On Episode 13 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller talks about DHA and the amounts needed for the most effective impact on our system and eye health. He also addresses dose amounts for children and adults. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 



Participant:  I was wondering about the DHA since you were talking about that tonight.  Should my son just be taking one of those a day or should he be taking more?

Dr. Miller:  Not more, he should take one dose of one of the Super DHA. One of those capsules has about 1,000 mg of fish oil and about 500 mg of DHA.  For many people, kids or adults, one is enough.  Now your son, remind me of his age again.

Participant:  He’s 24.

Dr. Miller:  Alright, 24, so he’s obviously an adult.  Basically any child over the age of 6 is going to be taking an adult dose.  But the dose we start people at is 1.  The things that might make me suggest that you start taking two would be dry eyes, problems with irritation in the eyes or problems with night vision.  Those things are where I would suggest increasing the dose from 1 to 2 to maybe even 3.

Participant:  Well he has terrible night vision.  His night vision for sure and then coming in from outside into the house in the daytime even if the house is dark.

Dr. Miller: Yeah, and the lutein is even more important for that, but those are some of the earlier things that will change.  So those are changes that you want to be looking for, so you know the program is working for him.

Participant:  I’m looking. (laughs)

Dr. Miller:  Okay, thank you.


Using Gingko Biloba for Eye Improvement

On the Better Eye Health Podcast Dr. Miller talks about the role of Gingko Biloba and its impact on the improvement of the eyes. This supplement has long shown to be an effective member of the team you use to reverse serious eye disease. The purpose here is to give more description as to why this supplement is so effective. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 

Dr. Miller:  The next question is about Ginkgo, which is sometimes used for people with Wet Macular Degeneration. We sometimes recommend it for people with more advanced cases of retinitis pigmentosa, or RP.  While, it does have some effect to slow the blood and slows platelet aggregation; it does more to open up the circulation in the central nervous system. There’s a little bit of increase in blood flow in the small critical small vessels of the central nervous system, to the extent that some products actually add a little bit of Ginkgo. We used to use a lutein product that added a little bit of ginkgo or a little of vinpocetine, which is another supplement we do add sometimes. 
The reason that we would add those is so that we can get more of that substance into the brain and into the eye, by opening the circulation to the brain.  So that’s really the more dramatic effect that ginkgo has and that’s why we use it, when we do.  I wouldn’t worry about ginkgo combined with any of these other things, unless you’re going to have surgery because of its effect on the platelets and the blood.  You would want to discontinue a product like the vitamins, the ginkgo or things like that for a few days before surgery. Your surgeon would certainly instruct you to do that. 


Using the Better Eye Health Protocol: Taurine – BEH Podcast

In several of the Better Eye Health Podcasts Dr. Miller has covered the various supplements that are part of the Better Eye Health Protocol. Over the years these items have proven to be extremely effective in the reversal of degenerative eye disease, alongside all of the other components of the program. They work together to support overall body health and wellness. 

In this episode the topic is the product Taurine by Thorne Research. Taurine is an essential amino acid that we don’t always receive through our food or other nutrition intake. We need it but our body does not produce it naturally. Having a good strong source of it helps, once again, to make sure your body has all it needs to the job of healing and repair. It needs all the building materials otherwise it will make a very poor house. Dr. Miller explores in detail this important supplement and how to absorb it most effectively in your routine. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


Dr. Miller:  Today we are going to talk about Taurine, one of the seven items in our basic protocol for the treatment of eye disease. (And let me just say that today is the 13th of April, 2016 and I believe the reference number for this call is 5).  There are numerous classes of supplements in the protocol. There are the anti-oxidants, which are intended to reduce damage in the retina. Vitamins and the minerals are the main source of anti-oxidants.  We’re doing a program intended to regenerate tissues in the eyes by enlisting the systems in the body. The natural systems that help us regenerate complex tissues like the spinal cord, brain and eye. That critical system are stem cells, which all of us carry around with us.

If you’re trying to rebuild complex tissues, you need to make sure you have all the raw materials present.  For the most part, you obtain those materials from the things we eat.  There are a few specialized materials which you wouldn’t necessarily get from everyday foods. We include those in the protocol because we want to make sure you have enough of everything your body needs.  Taurine is one of those materials; the other two similar ones are Lutein and DHA. 

Today, we’re focusing on Taurine. Taurine is an amino acid. It’s a sulfur-containing amino acid.  It’s known as a conditionally essential amino acid. In nutrition, essential means anything where you have to eat it because you can’t make it. A couple examples are essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.  Essential nutrients must be in your diet.  Your body has a limited ability to fabricate Taurine and other amino acids, but it doesn’t do it very efficiently. That’s why it’s conditionally essential. We want to make sure you have plenty of Taurine around, so we have you take one pill a day.  And it’s actually a vegetarian source, the one from thorn. 

We suggest you take your Taurine pills at night because amino acids absorption into the blood stream, is competitive. That means if you just had a big piece of meat, and you take a Taurine pill, there are only a few revolving doors, a few places where the amino acids can get from the gut into the blood stream.  If there’s a lot of competition for those few doors, you may not absorb all of the Taurine in the pill you take. By taking it at bed time, you do a couple of things.  First, it is separate from other foods you’ve eaten - major meals. Second, it puts Taurine into your blood supply at night, when the majority of healing happens in the body. 

The only other place in the body where there’s as high a concentration of Taurine as you find in the eyes, is the heart.  As a result, Taurine is also useful for the heart.  The data on Taurine is interesting.  Some of the data is indirect, meaning what happens when you don’t have enough Taurine.  There’s been data in human beings about Taurine deficiency. Taurine deficient diets are mostly found in people who don’t eat meat.  Vegetarians or vegans can sometimes get into troubles with their eyes and heart, because they aren’t getting enough of the sulfur-containing amino acids that would build Taurine or actually contain Taurine themselves.

One piece of evidence about the importance of Taurine was kind of an accident.  People who are vegan or vegetarian sometimes want to have vegan or vegetarian food for their pets. They just didn’t want meat in the house at all.  There were some attempts to make vegetarian cat foods without meat.  There is not enough Taurine for the cats in the vegetarian foods and a whole lot of cats ended up blind.  The cast literally became blind because of the lack of Taurine. There is plenty of other evidence that shows a clear relationship between Taurine and eye health. 

Taurine could be taken at other times as long as it is not near a big meal with a lot of protein.  It does not have to be at bed time, but bedtime has the added benefit of having it circulating in your body at the time when your body is repairing cells. 

That’s really about the end of the story on Taurine. If people have questions about it, we can come back to it at the end. Foods that are rich in Taurine contain a lot of sulfur-containing amino acids. Eggs are a great source of Taurine, and meat has a lot of Taurine in it. There are food sources for Taurine.  But just to be safe, we have found that adding this single pill to the supplement protocol was valuable.


Using the Better Eye Health Protocol: Minerals – BEH Podcast

On the next several Better Eye Health Podcasts Dr. Miller will cover the various supplements that are part of the Better Eye Health Protocol. Over the years these items have proven to be extremely effective in the reversal of degenerative eye disease, alongside all of the other components of the program. They work together to support overall body health and wellness. 

In this episode the topic is the product Vitality Boost HA, as well as other mineral supplements. We often lack in essential minerals and even if we eat mineral rich foods it often is not enough to keep our levels up. Dr. Miller goes into some depth regarding the types of minerals we need and how to build a working knowledge of where to find what you need.  

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


Dr. Miller:  Today we’re going to talk about the liquid minerals: the humic minerals and fulvic minerals.  The words humic and fulvic come from the same source. They come from ancient peat sources or ancient vegetable sources that are mined.  The sources are from hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years ago.  Your body extracts organic material from water, and this water is very rich in chelated nutrients, especially minerals and amino acids.  Some of these compounds, believe it or not, assist with the health of your gut, and I’ll come back to that in a bit. 

There are two fractions when you do the water extraction. There is a fraction that is called a colloidal fraction, and there are basically two versions of this.  There’s Vitality Boost HA, which is not the first bottle we send you, but I encourage people to get a sample of that and try it.  It’s a little more robust, it has more in it, it costs the same, but some people find it a little off putting because it’s quite dark, and it looks like hummus.  So you get this colloidal, which means tiny little particles that are so fine that they go into suspension, but they don’t settle out with gravity.  And there’s also the part that is actually soluble that goes into a real true solution.  And if you filter out the colloidal particles and just have the stuff that’s in a true solution, are the fulvic minerals, and that’s called energy boost.  And that’s what we send in the first bottle with the home study program.

The minerals are really one of the more critical things in the program.  The reason I say that is while I don’t do a lot of testing with a lot of people who come into the office, I used to do a lot more. We can have that discussion in another talk why I don’t do as much laboratory testing as I used to.  But when I did do more laboratory testing, the one thing that almost everybody was off on was their levels of healthy minerals.  Our foods are devoid of a lot of vitamins and minerals, especially minerals.   Our water used to have a high mineral content when it came from Artesian wells or flowing water.  Water that comes from reservoirs, or worse, is very devoid of minerals.  So all of the places where we used to get minerals in our diet, our food and our water, don’t have many minerals anymore and that has a lot of consequences. 

One thing that was learned 50 years ago was that people with eye disease are low in minerals, especially Zinc.  There’s a real benefit to slowing the process of these diseases.  It’s interesting because in the ARED Study, the Age Related Eye Disease Study, which is quoted a lot about showing that people with degenerative eye diseases need vitamins, it didn’t study minerals at all.  And if they looked into it, they would find a lot of benefits of minerals, but doctors just don’t pay much attention to minerals, I’m a doctor, that’s how I know that.  You’re never taught much about mineral testing. Most doctors don’t even know how to test minerals really.  And so, the minerals are important; we’re all quite low on them, we need them. 

One of the ways to know that you’re low on minerals, really low on minerals is if you have problems with muscle cramps.  If you get cramps during the middle of the night, after exercise, or even during the day for no reason,.  that means, among other things, that you’re very low on minerals.  If you’re having a lot of trouble with constipation, you’re probably low on minerals.  If you have a heart Arrhythmia, you’re probably low on minerals.  If you’re having any kind of peripheral neuropathy, you might be low in minerals.  The converse is also true, when you take a good quality mineral supplement for some period of time, you refill your tank of minerals. That may help all of the problems I just named. 

It’s important to remember that you can’t correct a significant mineral deficiency overnight.  You can only get minerals into your body so fast and it’s important that you take the minerals regularly. We also recommend that you take them separately from all other food or supplements.  One way to do the mineral supplement is to take it at bed time because you’re not usually having any other food then.   You can also take your ounce of minerals with some water first thing in the morning when you first stumble into the kitchen after you’ve gotten up.  By the time you get around to making a cup of tea or making breakfast or anything like that, it will be well on its way and kept separate from the other things you’re eating or drinking. 

I said there were some things in the minerals that are actually in both the fulvic and the humic minerals in both the energy boost and the vitality boost.  There are living and ancient substances in soil that regulate the bacterial populations of the soil.  So, living soil bacteria are very critical because plants don’t grow in dead soil, and the same is true in your gut.  Your gut and soil are very similar and these substances that come from the soil that were there to regulate the genome or the living population of things that are in the soil, can also regulate the living population of things that are in your gut and they do that quite effectively. 

When I say regulate, they actually do more than that. We are exposed to antibiotics from many sources from industrial agriculture, the overuse of antibiotics in medicine and even the antibiotic residues that come through the tap because our public water supplies don’t filter those out. Just the antibiotics alone really upset the biome, the population of living biological things in our gut. We have 10 trillion bugs living in our gut.  The bugs living in our gut outnumber our living cells by 10 to 1 easily. The consequence of these antibiotics is that a healthy gut, somebody who’s not taking antibiotics, not exposed to antibiotic residues or pollution, somebody with a healthy biome may have 20,000 different kinds of bugs living in their gut.    If you’ve had a lot of antibiotics in your life or if you’re eating food that’s contaminated with antibiotic residues, you may have just 1,000 or 2,000.  The energy boost and the vitality boost, contain minerals  which help increase the number and the variety of things living in your gut if you take them on a regular basis for months.  Increasing the diversity in your gut is a good and a desirable thing, but that’s not why we use these products. This effect is something that we’ve discovered later on, after we’d been using them for years, but it is a very useful thing and that’s why we will probably never change these products, but continue to use them.

The other thing you will find on a liquid vitamin bottle, are vitamins and minerals.  There are a few minerals in there, but those minerals are of very little use to you or anybody else.  Manufacturers mix in vitamin and mineral supplements, whether liquid or capsule or pills, because people like an all in one product.  It looks good, it’s very appealing that all I have to do is open this one bottle every day and that will give me everything I need.  But there’s something called best manufacturing practices which say don’t mix vitamins and minerals in the same product.  The reason for that practice is minerals are quite reactive and so in the liquid vitamins, the minerals react with the fat-soluble vitamins, which are the vitamin A, the vitamin D, the vitamin E, the vitamin K, by a spontaneous process called saponification, which forms these insoluble complexes that you can’t absorb. 

So yes, there are minerals in those liquid vitamins, but almost all of them end up in the toilet, because you can’t absorb any of them.  It looks good on paper, but it doesn’t work well in practice.  That’s why we insist that you take a separate mineral supplement on top of the vitamin supplement, even though the vitamin supplement does say it has some minerals in it.

If you travel a lot and you don’t want to carry a lot of bulky liquids with you, there is a freeze dried version of the minerals,  called Immune Boost.  That’s something we can supply for you, but there aren’t really many good separate mineral products on the market.  A lot of the mineral products on the market are actually extracted from the beds of old seas and oceans, which is one place to get minerals.  The problem with minerals from the beds of od seas and oceans is that there is a much higher concentration of heavy metals.  Those things tend to get concentrated in bodies of water and they don’t get concentrated in these ancient plant sources, which are much cheaper too.  The mineral products that are derived from Shale or from the bottoms of ancient seas, have far too much lead, mercury, cadmium, tin, on and on. That’s why I don’t like those and why we don’t use them.

So if you have questions about the minerals, email us, and we can include that in one of our question sessions in coming talks or you can just ask a question today during the Q & A, the question and answer period.


Using the Better Eye Health Protocol: Liquid Vitamins

On the next several Better Eye Health Podcasts Dr. Miller will cover the various supplements that are part of the Better Eye Health Protocol. Over the years these items have proven to be extremely effective in the reversal of degenerative eye disease, alongside all of the other components of the program. They work together to support overall body health and wellness. 

In this episode the topic is the product Ortho Liquid Multi by Protocol. As with minerals, vitamins are often lacking in our daily diet to the levels that help us heal and stay balanced. Making sure you have a well balanced multi-vitamin, especially one that is liquid for better absorption, is another key to helping your eyes and body become stronger. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 


Dr. Miller:  I just want to talk about the different supplements we use in our basic protocol. We won’t talk about them all today; we’ll do a little talk on each one over the next few weeks.  This leads into one question, where somebody was asking about the AREDS formula.  AREDS is an acronym, it’s a term that refers to the program of supplements that ophthalmologists recommend and it stands for Age Related Eye Disease Study. 

For a number of reasons, I am not really fond of the AREDS formulas.  Almost the entire study was funded by the Bausch and Lomb company, who had bought a brand name vitamin called Ocuvite. Ocuvite came on the market in the 1960’s when there was some research, originally out of Israel that people with macular degeneration tended to be low in zinc.  The other kind of research found that giving some zinc supplementation to people with degenerative eye diseases, especially macular degeneration, seemed to be useful in slowing the progress of the disease. 

And so, Ocuvite was a so, so multivitamin with extra zinc. There was a lot of extra Zinc in Ocuvite.  Patient’s doctors would tell them what doctors tell people now: “there’s really nothing you can do, but here take these vitamins”.  Doctors would hand out samples of it and people would take the multivitamin very diligently.  There was almost 90 mg of Zinc in the Ocuvite back in the 60’s.  After many years of diligently taking the vitamin, their eye doctor had told them to take, people found out, that too much zinc gives you heart failure by damaging your heart.  This damage is mainly because zinc displaces Copper and Manganese and other critical elements.  So a lot of people started showing up in emergency rooms in the 70’s with heart failure, and they  traced it back to their years of taking Ocuvite. That’s why you don’t want to overdo the Zinc, or if you do overdo the Zinc, you need to make sure you’re taking extra Copper and Manganese.

Ocuvite was kind of the brand name for eye disease vitamins and Bausch and Lomb, when they bought the brand, wanted to be able to market it for eye disease, which meant they had to do some studies.  They finally funded this thing called the ARED Study, which a lot of people jokingly call the Ocuvite study. What’s interesting is one of the things about the formula they studied.  First of all, it had higher levels of a lot of vitamins than what most doctors were used to prescribing.  So it had amounts of vitamin E and vitamin C and Zinc and other things that were well over what the minimum daily requirement or the even the recommended daily allowance.  They were far beyond what the minimum was that’s usually recommended.  As a result, one of the things the ARED Study did is proved that larger doses of vitamins are safe because nobody got into trouble with the AREDS. 

The other thing that it did is showed that even a poorly designed, if taken regularly did slow the progression of the disease of macular degeneration.  That’s exactly what it sounds like, it slowed the progression.  Nobody got better, nobody’s deterioration stopped, but people didn’t get as bad as quickly. 

So, AREDS is a standard thing that’s recommended now.  I don’t like the AREDS because, in general, the ones on the market aren’t very good.  If you go back and actually read the ARED Study, what they used in the studies was a far superior product to what is actually marketed as AREDS vitamins. In other words, the stuff on the shelves that you go buy isn’t nearly as good as what they used in the study.  So, it’s hard to even compare results there because they were using a custom formulated thing for research and it’s not what ended up being put in the bottles that are on the shelf.  And I think you can do much better.

Having talked about the AREDS, I just want to say that the next thing we’ll talk about this week are the liquid multivitamins.  The reason we use a liquid multivitamin or the reason we recommend one, is that liquids are far better absorbed.  The protocol brand that we use is labeled as a liquid multivitamin and mineral supplement.  In truth, with any kind of vitamin mineral supplement, there are  generally very inadequate amounts of minerals, but when you mix vitamins and minerals in the same preparation, you tend to see the minerals get bound up to the fat soluble vitamins. These vitamins are, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.  You really get very little of the minerals out of something like that. 

Manufacturers do that because people like having a one product thing, everything together in one product whether it’s pills or liquid.  But there are some best practices that are recommended for manufactured vitamins and those practices say don’t mix vitamins and minerals in the same product.  There’s no harm in having the minerals there, but there is a separate mineral supplement we recommend and we’ll talk about that next week. 

Coming back to the vitamins we use, the brand in our protocol has worked well, both with eye disease and other things that I treat.  The amounts of things are not too high and the form of vitamin A that they use has some beta-keratin in there, but then the other vitamin A is in the form of vitamin A palmitate.  We’ll talk more on that a little later.

There’s been some research, and a lot of confusion, about the use of vitamin A for anybody with an eye disease, especially Stargardt Disease.  But a lot of that data is, I believe, misinterpreted, so we’re writing more about that.  There’s going to be some things that we’re going to put out in writing so you can read it because it’s a complex discussion.  However, I don’t recommend that people with Stargardt Disease or any other eye disease completely avoid vitamin A.  Some doctors get so radical that they say: “not only don’t take supplements with vitamin A, but don’t eat fruits and vegetables, and the thing that makes the vitamin A dangerous is light, so don’t go out in the light”.  So now you’re sitting eating potatoes in the dark and it’s not a good bit of advice for health.  There is work showing ways to go with this, but I do like the liquid multi-vitamins.  They have everything in them, in some cases more than what’s in the ARED Study.  I think they’re a far better absorbing product and higher quality.  That’s why we go with the protocol liquid multivitamins. It has your basic B vitamins. it’s got antioxidants and that’s the basic vitamin formula that we use.


Using the Better Eye Health Protocol: Super DHA – BEH Podcast

On the next several Better Eye Health Podcasts Dr. Miller will cover the various supplements that are part of the Better Eye Health Protocol. Over the years these items have proven to be extremely effective in the reversal of degenerative eye disease, alongside all of the other components of the program. They work together to support overall body health and wellness. 

In this episode the topic is the product Carlson Super DHA. Having high quality oils, especially Omega-3 oils, is crucial for the functioning of so many systems in the body. It supports health and healing, and yet sadly we often are lacking enough of this important substance. It is usually the case that we have more Omega-6 and 9 in our diet, which does not provide the complete package. Also important is to make sure the oils you do eat come from a clean source. The Carlson brand has long strived to make sure their oil is the best. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 



Dr. Miller:  We are talking about DHA, which is part of the basic protocol.  The basic protocol is how we refer to the seven supplements that we recommend for everyone with an eye disease or everyone trying to prevent serious eye disease.  This protocol would also appropriate for anyone who has family members where you’re worried the genetic condition might eventually affect them. 

The DHA is one of the things in the protocol because in the Better Eye Health program it can help your eyes actually regenerate.  DHA is one of the supplements in this category, along with Lutein and the Taurine ].  These supplements are building blocks that are needed if you’re going to try to rebuild cells in the eye, brain or spinal cord.  Around 50% of the weight of the brain is fat and 50% of those fats are DHA.  DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic Acid.  You don’t need to know the chemical name, but Docosa is Greek for the number 22.  So DHA is a 22 carbon long fatty acid, with a substitution at the 3 position, which makes it an Omega-3 fatty acid.  It’s found mostly in fish, but the reason it’s found in fish is that fish are in a food chain that begin with algae.  Algae are the main source on the planet for these long chain Omega-3 fatty acids. 

The Omega-3 fatty acids found in plants, such as things found in borage oil. GLA and CLA are some of the other things with Omega-3 fatty acids that we talk about.  The Omega-3 fatty acids found in plants can be converted in the body to longer chain fatty acids, like EPA, which is a 20 carbon long fatty acid, or DHA which is a 22 carbon molecule.  Which are important, but it takes about 1,000 molecules of GLA to make one molecule of DHA.  The body can do it, but not very efficiently.  So, when you’re trying to regenerate cells in the brain or the eye, it’s a good idea to have enough of the raw material around, so your body isn’t trying to rebuild something, without the brick and mortar that it needs to get things done. 

If you go into the website and just search for DHA, there is a multi-page booklet that was put together years ago. It described all of the medical conditions that occur when you are deficient in DHA.  So, DHA is important, not just for the health of the brain, but for the skin, the gut, the organs, and the bones. DHA is a critical substance for the body and it is especially critical for the eyes. 

The product we use from the J.R.Carlson company is made from small fish from the North Sea and Northern Atlantic.  These fish are relatively clean still because small fish are lower on the food chain; they haven’t had a chance to concentrate the toxins and things that larger fish at the top of the food chain contain.  Also, smaller fish are richer in DHA.  A single pill of the Carlson product has the minimum 500 mg per day that we recommend for someone with eye disease.  There are other products on the market, but if you’re not taking the Carlson Super DHA product, you do want to make sure you’re getting at least 500 mg. of DHA per day.  For other products, you may need to take 2, 3 or even 4 pills a day to get that 500 mg, so just make sure you check that.

DHA is mainly incorporated into the membrane of the cell.  Healthy membranes are important, not just for the integrity of the cells, but for the functioning of the cells.  One of the things that happens if you don’t have enough of the proper raw materials, is that if the body’s trying to build a cell, it will insert the fatty acids it can find that will sort of fit, but that don’t really do the job.  The analogy that I like to use is that you’re trying to build a nice solid brick wall, but all you can find are pieces of 2x4 that are about the same size as bricks.  Since you need something to fill the holes in the wall, so you stick those pieces of 2x4 into the gap, and no surprise, you end up with a pretty poorly constructed and fragile wall that doesn’t last very long. 

Trans fatty acids can be even worse than just the wrong material.,  The reason you hear that you need to avoid them is that when trans fatty acids get incorporated into the cell membrane, it is a problem in the brain.  They completely disrupt the functioning of the membrane. They’re quite inflammatory, and the cells end up dying.  If you eat a lot of trans fats, you’ll have a lot of cells with these fats incorporated into their membranes, which means you will have a lot of cells that do not do their job well. 

Remember the cells in the brain are no different than any other cell in the body. Whether you have a degenerative disease or not, the cells in your brain are turning over, just like every other cell in your body.  Now, they are more complex cells. They don’t turn over every couple of weeks, but I promise you, you do not have a cell in your body older than 10 years old.  That’s bones, organs, brain, spinal cord, everywhere else.  And this is rather new information. This notion is not what I was taught in medical school. In medical school, I was taught that you get a certain number of brain cells. That’s what you have for the rest of your life, and if they die off you’re in trouble.  But it turns out, they do regenerate themselves. They do replace themselves, and they can be generated in the face of degenerative diseases, like these diseases of the eye.

So, that’s the story of DHA, and again, if you want to read more about it, go to In the upper right there’s a search box. Search for “DHA”, and you’ll find that nice booklet that you can download as a PDF.


Is It Safe To Eat Fish?

On Episode 16 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller is asked about the impact of eating fish and does it have an negative impact on the eyes and degenerative disease. In this is the benefit of substances like DHA and its effect on diseases like Macular Degeneration and Retinitis Pigmentosa. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 



Dr. Miller:  Fish is a complex issue, because the oceans are so polluted which makes fish contaminated. They pick up a lot of heavy metals, and things like that.  The general rule is to eat fish lower down on the food chain.  Toxins in the environment and toxins in the ocean get concentrated as you get further up the food chain.  So large fish, such as swordfish, tuna or even dolphins and whales, are the most polluted animals in the ocean.  The same is true of animals on land.  Human beings carry a higher level of toxins than most other mammals on the earth because we’re at the top of our food chain. 

So if you’re going to eat fish, eat small fish.  They’re great nutrition; they have a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids in them, and that’s good.  I would eat wild caught fish from cleaner parts of the ocean, such as the Northern Pacific, Northern Atlantic smaller fish from those areas, and even some of the salmon is not too bad.  I would not eat fish every day, but I would not completely give up fish.  We’ll come back to this question of fish in later talks.  It’s a worthy conversation to come back to.  But for now, I would not tell you to never eat fish again, but do stick with wild, smaller caught fish from cleaner parts of the world.   Just to be clear, the fish oil that we use, Carlson, is from small fish.


When To Wear Sunglasses If You Have Eye Issues – Podcast

On Episode 27 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller talks briefly about using sunglasses and the best time to wear them, especially if you have eye issues. Although it is very strait forward, it is always important to address these issues so that you do not undo the progress you make with your eye disease. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 



Dr. Miller: Do you avoid sunlight entirely?  No, and the question of whether you should wear sunglasses or not.  The question of sunglasses is an interesting one.  The approach I take which is like that of Meir Schneider, that was where this question came from, is that we evolved on the earth under the sun.  And so, our body and our eyes are very well adapted to the sunlight.  We have some natural defenses to keep sunlight from being damaging to us—the pigments that form in our skin when we get tanned, those are protective and the same thing happens in our eyes.  There are increased pigments laid down in the eye, which in the case of macular degeneration is a great thing.  Without the stimulation of sunlight, that doesn’t happen.  I would not wear sunglasses every day, every minute your outside.  If it’s midday, bright sun, on water, snow, at altitude where the air is thinner or if it’s really blinding sunlight, then I would wear sunglasses. One of the ways you can tell usually, if you pay attention, if you’re in sunlight that’s actually that bright, is if it’s painful. Pain is something you always want to pay attention to.  If you’re in sunlight so bright that its painful, then you need sunglasses, but during morning, afternoon evening, sunrise and sunset, a lot of time it’s very good to be outside. Just follow the times that we recommend for sunning, that should give good exercise for the eyes.


Best Way To Breathe When Doing BEH Exercises

On Episode 23 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller talks about the BEH Eye Health Exercises and how to manage your breathing while doing them. The focus of this discussion is if there is any difference in how you breathe – i.e. through the nose or the mouth – in terms of any impact on the effectiveness of the exercises. 

As always you will find the link to the Podcast, as well as the full transcript. You can also download a PDF of the transcript down at the bottom the page. Enjoy! 



Dr. Miller: He was just saying that sometimes people talk about breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Some people say breathe in through the nose and out through the nose only.  Even yoga teachers differ. We tend to say in through the nose and out through the mouth in our instructions.  Could you just give usa brief 30 second talk about these different breathing techniques and which one you think would be best for our exercises.

Participant: Well sometimes which variant is used is based on where the meditation technique is coming from and what tradition.  Sometimes, the variant is connected to how that affects the energies of the body.  I would say that more often than not, the instruction that we’ve used is in through the nose and out through the mouth.  In traditional Buddhist practice there is a connection with that breathing and how it affects the channels in the body from that particular approach to medicine, which looks at the body as a system of channels and energy centers.  That that type of breathing connects with that. 

I guess I don’t know of a better way to breathe than another.  They are just different approaches that come from different traditions.  I think of someone saying where you’re getting information that one is better than the other, has not been my sense, and that’s just been from practicing meditation for many years and studying with a lot of different approaches in teachers.  For myself, I’ve found that in through the nose and out through the mouth, there’s a way where that just regulates something in my energy that can help calm me down pretty easily.  And I would imagine that there’s research and data on that, but I apologize that I don’t have an exact answer of why that would be that way.

Dr. Miller: That’s good and I think we’re going to stick with in through the nose and out through the mouth.  I know there are some specialized meditation techniques which come from different traditions, but the important thing is to breathe.

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