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Exfoliation, Environment, and Ocular Health

Friday, October 27, 2017

Given that ski and other winter sports season will soon arrive, a review published in Current Opinion in Ophthalmology got our attentionIt discusses the role environmental components play in ocular exfoliation production and accumulation of extracellular material in ocular tissue and its effect on health.

We found it particularly interesting. because we strongly believe that lifestyle and environmental issues, including the air we breathe, the water we drink, nutrient intake, fitness, stress, and solar radiation can play a huge role in eye and full body health, including the health of ocular tissue.

Exfoliation can be one of the most common causes of lack of ocular health, characterized by accumulation of extracellular deposits on various anterior segment ocular tissues. It’s serious and can lead to elevated pressure, occlusion of the retinal vein. and intraocular lens subluxation. It’s also associated with frequent increased ocular surgery complications.

These findings pointed toward other nongenetic factors that influence the development of exfoliation, with increasing latitude, solar radiation, climatic variables and dietary factors, including excessive caffeine consumption and low dietary folate intake being some of the nongenetic factors associated with increased risk of exfoliation.

These investigators reported that homocysteine levels are higher in the serum, aqueous humor. and tear samples of known exfoliated tissues compared with controls. Homocysteine is an amino acid byproduct of protein metabolism and now considered a marker of impending ill health.

The optimal synthesis of methionine from homocysteine requires folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12. Unfortunately, very few ocular-focused products include the full-spectrum of B vitamins, which are proven to be players in eye and body health.

This information also brings up the necessity of making sure we are consuming diets and supplements that include adequate amounts of B vitamins and the macular pigment carotenoids clinically linked to macular pigment density: lutein and zeaxanthin, which also help protect our retinas from solar radiation and excess blue light damage associated with exfoliation and many other ocular issues.

Ellen Troyer, with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff


Since Biosyntrx is located in Colorado, we're using today's reach to speak to skiers and other snow sport enthusiasts, because this review clearly suggests that ocular exposure to light from reflective surfaces like snow can be one of the more important environmental factors in the pathogenesis of ocular exfoliation. 

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