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On Using What We Already Know

Friday, February 08, 2019


Your genetics load the gun. Your lifestyle pulls the trigger. ~Mehmet Oz, MD.


According to David Katz, MD, MPH, past President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, "Believe it or not, what we know about health promotion, disease prevention, sustainable weight control, and lifestyle as medicine is enough to prevent 80 percent of all chronic disease and premature death.


"No one refutes this; the evidence is too strong, too consistent, too often replicated. The iconoclasts don't refute it. The renegade geniuses don't refute it. Those with competing theories to sell don't refute it. They simple ignore it and continue to believe the focus should be on what we don't know. 


"Knowing more is always good. But we know enough to do an astonishing amount of good; good we would all see and feel."


Loss of vision and low vision among older adults has been carefully researched for years, one issue at a time, as well as one therapy modality at a time, as is the American way. However, at this time in history, preventive measures through lifestyle modifications are becoming more and more attractive, because they are far more affordable than clinical therapies and do not require specialists for administration.


By better understanding, and reducing or eliminating modifiable lifestyle risk factors, it seems reasonable to suggest the possibility that less vision loss will develop, vision loss progression may be reduced, and its age at onset, delayed.  


Specifically, consuming a healthy diet, not smoking, abstaining from excessive alcohol, and regular physical activity have been individually associated with vision loss in epidemiologic studies.


However, only one study to our knowledge has examined the association between a combination of three healthy behaviors—healthy diet, physical activity, not smoking—and risk of developing age-related loss of vision.  


The Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS) proved that women who had a combination of these three healthy lifestyle factors had a threefold lower odds for early retina-specific vision loss relative to women who had unhealthy lifestyles.


Don't smoke, eat well, keep moving, and enjoy the weekend!


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


PEARL:  Let's not continue to ignore this science. Please don't let anyone else ignore it. Please don't look on passively at a culture fiddling while Rome burns, and please don't add your own fiddle to that orchestra. ~ David Katz, MD, MPH.