Friday Pearls

Friday Pearls

Where Are The Bodies?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Dietary supplements have an extraordinarily safe usage history. In the United States, close to half of the population takes herbal or nutritional supplements every day. Andrew Saul, PhD, nutritionist and former health science and biology professor at State University of New York (SUNY) suggests that this amounts to over 145,000,000 individual daily doses, for a total of just under 53 billion doses annually. The most elementary of forensic arguments to the much publicized CODEX-FDA call for tighter controls on the supplement industry is - where are the bodies?

Smoking: A Call to Action

Friday, August 12, 2005

The untimely death of Peter Jennings from cigarette smoking related lung cancer suggests the need to discuss the increased risk factor for several eye diseases in those who smoke; including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, optic neuropathy and neuritis, and dry eyes. Cigarette smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of death and disability in developed countries and it is one of our most significant public health concerns. The literature strongly suggests that ischemic, toxic, and oxidative effect of cigarette smoking plays an important role in damaging all ocular tissue.

The AMD Inflammation Debate Continues

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Conflicting Age-Related Macula Degeneration studies published in the past 60 days by reputable journals add fuel to the AMD inflammation fires. Recent studies published in Archives of Ophthalmology and The American Journal of Ophthalmology support differing points of view.

Statins: A Safe Ophthalmic Drug for Inflammation?

Friday, July 22, 2005

A number of recently published studies suggest that Statin drugs may be appropriate to control the endothelial inflammatory process associated with a number of chronic diseases of the eye, including glaucoma and macular degeneration. Goodman and Gilman's Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, states: "Any drug, no matter how trivial its therapeutic actions, has the potential to do major harm." Statin drugs are not trivial.

Beta-Carotene and Smokers Revisited

Friday, July 01, 2005

Supplemental beta-carotene was shown to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers in a poorly designed Finish, Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) study. A second study, Carotenoid and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) also found a higher incidence of lung cancer in those people taking a whopping 30 mg of synthetic beta-carotene, plus 25,000 IU of pre-formed Vitamin A retinol.

Obesity, Inflammation and AMD

Friday, June 24, 2005

Recent data suggests adipose tissue (connective tissue that stores fat) to be a multifunctional organ rather than simply a passive storage site for excess energy. Adipose tissue secretes a variety of factors that exert multiple effects at both the local and the systemic level. These secretions include protein families, fatty acids, prostaglandins and cytokines, including Interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is now recognized as a biomarker for inflammation, along with C-reactive protein (CRP).

Bacterial Biofilms and Ocular Infections

Friday, June 17, 2005

While an individual bacterium can be self-sufficient for a limited amount of time, bacteria coordinate their behavior into protective communities called biofilms. Biofilm development is an example of the amazing ability of bacteria to organize into group behavior to extend their lifespan.

Ocular Herpes and Dry Eyes

Friday, June 10, 2005

Herpes simplex virus is a major health concern, as genital infections are increasing in epidemic proportions. The CDC website reports that one in five adults over the age of 12 would now test positive for genital herpes; one third of these adult carriers are asymptomatic.

Turning On and Seeing Blue with Nitric Oxide

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Nobel Prize was awarded in 1998 to Ferid Murad for his discovery that nitroglycerine works by releasing nitric oxide (NO). This seems particularly appropriate because Alfred Nobel's fortune came from his invention of making dynamite from nitroglycerine. Eye care professionals are now carefully monitoring potentially dangerous visual side effects associated with nitric oxide (NO) stimulating pharmaceutical drugs.

Artificial Lighting and the Blue Light Hazard

Friday, May 27, 2005

What kind of lighting is best for people with retinal diseases like macular degeneration? Researchers tell us that ultraviolet (UV) and blue light rays may be harmful to people with retinal disease, while marketers tell us that lamps with enhanced UV and will help us to see better and stay healthier. The following scientific paper and poster was presented by Dan Roberts, the founder and director of at the 2005 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting.

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