Can You Help Your Eyes With More Oxygen?

On Episode 28 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller briefly discusses the role of adding extra oxygen to the overall daily practice of the Better Eye Health Program. The issue becomes more about blood flow and he talks about this in the podcast. 

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! 


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CAN YOU HELP YOUR EYES WITH MORE OXYGEN?

Dr. Miller: A question just about oxygen—about adding oxygen.  There are things that people do, things like hyperbaric oxygen.  An easy one to do is what’s called EWOT—Exercise With Oxygen Therapy—where you basically put breath from an oxygen tank next to your treadmill or your stationary bike.  Those are good things to do, but the other thing that’s important besides adding more oxygen into your blood, is to add more blood into your brain. There are several things you’re doing that increase blood flow to the brain; a number of things in this program.  The acupressure increases blood flow; the color therapy increases blood flow; the micro-current stimulation increases blood flow; the exercises increases blood flow.  Some of the supplements that we had for people with more advanced disease, things like the Vinpocetine and the Gingko, those increase blood flow.  So that’s the first five that we do to increase blood getting to your brain.  Meditation also increases oxygenation.



BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 28
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When is the Best Time To Take Taurine?

On Episode 26 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller talks about the basic use of Taurine and the most effective time to take it during your participation in the Better Eye Health Program. Taurine is one of the central components of the program. 

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! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 26
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BEST TIME TO TAKE TAURINE

Dr. Miller: The next question has to do with the supplements—the Taurine should not be taken with protein.  All of the instructions about how and when to take supplements and what to take them with or what not to take them with, are really about maximizing absorption.  I just want to stress that, there is no danger in mixing things.  There’s no way you can put things together that is going to make them, in anyway, harmful or dangerous.  But for Taurine, all proteins, all amino acids are absorbed by what’s called active absorption.  They don’t just passively go from the lining of your gut into the blood stream, there are just certain doorways that recognize amino acids, bind them, and pull them through.  So if you’re eating a protein meal and there’s a lot of protein and amino acids to be absorbed, only a limited number of doorways are left and if you take your Taurine with that high protein meal, you may not absorb as much of the protein.  Also, Taurine is mostly used at night, that’s when the eyes, that’s when every other cell in the body regenerates itself.  And so, we recommend if you can take it later in the day, at bed time maybe.  Minerals are taken separately, simply because they tend to react with things and form insoluble complexes.  You can take the minerals either between meals or at bed time, even with the Taurine. You also can take them first thing in the morning when you stumble into to kitchen before you’ve even put the water on the boil for your morning tea.  But make sure to take them away from other things.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 26
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Can You Do Eye Exercises Twice a Day?

On Episode 17 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller answers a question regarding the frequency of doing the eye exercises and if you can add additional rounds each day. This is a short podcast topic but important in terms of how to balance the impact of the program on daily life. 

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! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 17
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CAN YOU DO EYE EXERCISES TWICE A DAY?

Participant: Could my husband do the eye exercises more than once a day or even do them every single day or should we just stick to it once a day five days a week?

Dr. Miller:  If he goes through them once a day five day a week that is good. If he’s got extra motivation and extra time and wants to do more, I would really encourage picking something else up. In other words, going for a walk, doing some stretching, doing some meditation or making sure he’s doing the stress management.  There are a lot of things that he can do if he’s got the time to take care of his health, but I would not necessarily do more exercises.  Having said that, there’s no problem at all with him doing the exercises more than once. There’s definitely no downside to it.  The exercises are designed to benefit the eyes, so if  he decides he just wants to do the exercises again that’s fine.

Participant:  Okay, and we go to the gym almost every day. He’s doing exercises too and he loves the stress management. He goes and lays down in his bed for an hour or so.


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Can Caffeine Decrease Blood Flow to the Eyes?

On Episode 11 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller talks about how different substances might effect the eyes and their function. In this talk he looks at caffeine and how it potentially impacts blood flow to the eyes. Since many of the exercises and techniques in the Better Eye Health Program encourage stronger blood flow to the eyes, it is always a concern when a substance restricts this. He also explores positive and negative effects of substances like coffee. 

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! 


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CAN CAFFEINE DECREASE BLOOD FLOW TO THE EYES?

Participant:  My question is about caffeine.  I read somewhere that caffeine can cause a restriction of blood flow to the optic nerve and I was wondering what your view was on drinking coffee, is it counterproductive?

Dr. Miller:  That’s a good question. Coffee can reduce blood flow, but it can also open blood flow up.  Blood flow in the brain and the eye is a very complex thing, because it’s controlled by two different systems that balance each other.  The autonomic nervous system has the sympathetic and the para-sympathetic. Those are the medical terms for the systems.  The sympathetic is part of the autonomic nervous system that would be fight or flight, really pump you up, but it also can slow down blood flow to the brain,  but it depends on what the nature of the stress is.  Sometimes sympathetic overload, and that’s kind of the state that caffeine mimics, it produces an increase in sympathetic tone, which can also open up blood flow. 

The effect of coffee is complex and caffeine is complex because it does not just an effect on the nervous system, it has an effect on the liver.  There’s a certain workload that the liver has to do to process the caffeine, and interestingly, in oriental medicine there’s a connection between the organ that we call the liver and the system that’s referred to as the liver system, which is much broader than just that organ in Chinese medicine.  There’s a connection between the liver system and the visual system in oriental medicine.  The thing that stresses the liver is going to be a little bit negative on the eyes. 

Caffeine is one of those things that as long as you do it in moderation, meaning you have some coffee in the morning and you’re not drinking coffee all day long,  or late at night, you will probably tolerate it pretty well.  One of the things that’s interesting just about caffeine and coffee is it’s been a very highly studied drug. It’s essentially a drug, legal, but a drug.  Consider the billions of cups of coffee that people consume probably every day. People have been very worried about the negative health effects that caffeine and coffee might have. However, every attempt to try to link consumption of coffee and consumption of caffeine with some disease,  cancer, degenerative disease or circulatory disease has never found a connection.  Part of the reason for that is that coffee, if it’s prepared from the whole bean, is a plant substance. It’s a whole substance and there are good things which outweigh the bad. 

The reason I say that coffee has a lot of benefits from being a plant substance is that in the few studies that they’ve done where they showed any negative impact at all from coffee or caffeine, used decaffeinated coffee.  Part of the reason for that is that whatever process you use to decaffeinated the coffee, whether it’s a water process or something a little more toxic, whatever you do that removes the caffeine, also removes a lot of the antioxidants and the other things that are good. So you suddenly don’t have a whole material anymore, and it potentially could lead to some problems.  So my recommendation is that if you are going to drink coffee at all, just drink coffee and don’t drink too much of it. 

You hear about how there are antioxidants in things like green tea. Well, the amount of antioxidants in coffee far outweighs what’s in green tea.  So coffee isn’t all evil, but you can definitely overdo anything, even something potentially good, but I would not worry too much.  I have had, and I don’t mean this as a fallback position, but I’ve had quite a few people that I’ve seen in this program who’ve done very well who drink coffee.  So I do not find evidence that coffee is the undoing of this program.  So I hope that answers that question for you.

Carlyle:  I would say too, Damon, that it’s also what you put in the coffee.  So if you’re doing a lot of milk and sugar and things like that, that might not be great either.

Dr. Miller:  Yes, if your body doesn’t like milk and you’re loading up your coffee with half and half or whole milk, or you’re using some kind of bizarre, who knows what it is, artificial creamer just to make it white, there’s all kinds of chemicals and things in there that may not be good for you.  You can easily dump 20 grams of sugar into a cup of coffee and that’s over half the amount of sugar you should eat for the whole day.  So thank you, that’s very true.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 11
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Can Taurine Cause Insomnia

On Episode 9 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller explores the supplement Taurine and whether it effects sleep negatively. This is one of the shorter podcasts since the issue at hand is a minor one. Still it is important to understand the effects each remedy and supplement might have on you. Each person can react differently, so sharing information with Dr. Miller is essential so that he can suggest alternative solutions. If at any point you feel something is off or you are having a reaction, then make sure you do not wait to let us or your doctor know. 

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! 


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CAN TAURINE CAUSE INSOMNIA?

Participant:  Is there any reason that Taurine would add to problems with insomnia.

Dr. Miller:  We’re having you take the Taurine at bedtime, but for the life of me can’t think of why it would.  For some people, when they put something in their stomach, even if it’s just a pill of Taurine and a little bit of water, you’ve started a process that may be a little energetic which might disrupt sleep.  I don’t think there’s anything specifically about Taurine that should disrupt or would disrupt sleep. If you notice that when you take Taurine right at bedtime, you don’t sleep as well as those nights when you took it at another time during the day,  then your experience trumps anything theoretical.  So if you’re concerned about that, and you’ve played around with it and feel you do better when you don’t take Taurine at bedtime, then don’t take Taurine at bedtime.


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Do Computer Screens Cause Eye Strain?

On Episode 10 of the Better Eye Health Podcast, Dr. Miller explores the top of computer use and eye strain. These days it is almost impossible to not stare at some kind of screen or device in our daily life. If you are required to stare at a screen for long periods of time, this can cause stress and strain that might work counter to your overall eye health. Dr. Miller talks in some detail about how to approach this issue and what to do to counter balance this so your eyes can have a break. 

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! 


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DO COMPUTER SCREENS CAUSE EYE STRAIN?

Participant: My question is regarding computer screens.  I use computer screens all day and wear yellow-lensed glasses that are meant to shield from the blue ray.  I just wonder if you have any other recommendations or things to take note of in terms of looking at computer screens.

Dr. Miller:  Well I’m assuming, in this day in age, that the screen you’re using is not a big, cathode ray tube, it’s a flat screen?

Participant:  Yes.

Dr. Miller:  You know the electron beam that would get shot up the screen in the big, older, clunky, heavy monitors that have the cathode ray tubes?  There’s a lot of radiation off those; there’s not nearly as much or none really off the flat screens. 

There is an electromagnetic field, often from the computer itself, that’s running that screen.  You should check and make sure that the computer is properly grounded and if possible that it’s as far away from where you’re sitting, so you’re not sitting on the power supply in the computer itself.  The yellow-lensed glasses can definitely help reduce the strain. 

There are two things that they’ve studied with computer screens that effect vision, but they are not directly because of the screen.  The first thing to keep in mind is making sure the screen is positioned so that you’re looking straight at it, you don’t have to look up or look down.  Looking up or down stresses your neck and that effects blood flow to your brain and your eye.  So you want to make sure that the ergonomics—chair, keyboard, mouse, screen, really everything—is at a very comfortable place, where you can just sit in a relaxed position with your neck neutral, right in front of you is the screen, and you don’t have to look up or look down.

The other thing is not directly related to the screen, but can easily be a problem is if you’re working on a computer and look to suddenly see that an hour has gone by.  And you’ve been sitting there typing, clicking around, looking at the screen for an hour without any interruption.  You can buy a little cheap timer and set it so that every 25 minutes or so, it goes off.  At the very least, you want to get up out of your chair, spin around a few times, and walk away and walk back.  It doesn’t take a lot, but just doing something to break up that cycle of just sitting there has a very positive effect.  It is a lot of work to stare at something that’s that close and it is a stress. 

The best treatment found for repetitive stress injuries of any sort, whether its visual, carpal tunnel, or other similar issues is what I was just talking about, meaning to take a little bit of a break every 20 or 25 minutes.  I say little because there have been studies that have shown if you do nothing more than just standing up, walking two or three feet away from your chair and then going back to work that has huge benefits.  I would do those simple things first, and if you still feel like you’re having stress from the screen, then we can go back to the question again, and we’ll see if there’s more you can do.

Participant:  Thank you.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 10
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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! 


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DO YOU NEED BILBERRY AND OTHER ANTI-OXIDANTS?

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.


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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! 


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DO WE NEED MORE DHA?

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.


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 13
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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! 


BETTER EYE HEALTH PODCAST - EPISODE 8
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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.


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