top of page
  • Adriano dos Santos

Fortifying Bones, Protecting Vision: Personalized Nutrition Strategies for Elderly Health

As a functional nutrition practitioner, I have witnessed a prevalent issue among my elderly patients - nutrition deficiencies, metabolic syndrome, and sleep disruption. Addressing these concerns is crucial, especially when it comes to eye health. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) conducted by the USA's National Eye Institute has served as a significant breakthrough in understanding the impact of antioxidants, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, on conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts, and lens opacities [1].

maintaining Bone Strength and preserving Eye Health. promote Longevity.

Over the years, the AREDS research has demonstrated that supplementing with these essential nutrients can slow down and, in some cases, halt the progression of vision-related issues that were once deemed inevitable. Furthermore, combining these nutrients with other complementary approaches from nutritional therapy, functional medicine, and herbal medicine has shown promising results, including the potential for reversing the progression of these conditions.

One such approach that has gained attention is the use of saffron. Clinical studies, such as a 2016 randomized controlled trial published in the Medical Hypothesis, Discovery & Innovation Ophthalmology Journal, have reported significant improvements in retinal function in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) after six months of daily saffron supplementation [1]. Another study conducted in 2018/19 confirmed that saffron supplementation modestly improved visual function in AMD patients, even among those already taking AREDS supplements [2]. These findings suggest that longer-term supplementation may yield even greater benefits, considering the chronic nature of AMD.


maintaining Bone Strength and preserving Eye Health. promote Longevity.

Repair and regeneration are fundamental principles of integrated/alternative medicine. Our bodies possess incredible healing capabilities when provided with the necessary resources. As a practitioner, I am continually amazed by the transformation I witness in clients, even those who are severely nutrient-deficient. However, ensuring they receive the basic building blocks for repair and regeneration significantly facilitates the healing process.

It is disheartening to see many elderly individuals who have reached advanced ages without understanding the critical connection between their diet, specific nutrients, and their declining health. Often, they have been influenced by generations of medical doctors who prescribe pharmaceuticals as the sole solution to the supposed inevitable diseases of ageing.

Consider an 83-year-old patient experiencing failing vision. If she hasn't had her vegan diet reviewed or received appropriate eye supplements, she may be unaware of how these actions could benefit her condition. Similarly, a 70-year-old individual labelled as "broken" may have believed that physiotherapy alone can fix all his problems. However, no one has evaluated his vegan diet, even just to ensure sufficient protein intake and collagen, which play vital roles in preserving muscle and repairing joint damage associated with conditions like arthritis.

Medical professionals often hesitate to criticize veganism due to the fear of disciplinary action in our current climate. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that a vegan or vegetarian diet, when carefully planned, can provide all the necessary amino acids for collagen synthesis. But for individuals who have experienced long-term protein or amino acid deficiencies, solely relying on dietary adjustments may not be sufficient to restore optimal levels. In such cases, exploring additional interventions to support collagen synthesis and repair may be necessary.

Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, Michigan State, and the University of Michigan highlights the significance of collagen in the healing process [6]. While they may not be familiar with Triage Theory, their observations of older animals and humans reveal the potential impact of age-related changes in collagen. They speculate that age-related modifications to the extracellular matrix and a decline in collagen levels may hinder efficient repair. This insight underscores the importance of addressing collagen deficiencies in ageing individuals and exploring strategies to optimize healing.


maintaining Bone Strength and preserving Eye Health. promote Longevity.

In conclusion, as a functional nutrition practitioner, I believe in the power of personalized nutrition to address the specific needs of elderly patients. By incorporating key nutrients such as antioxidants, saffron, and zinc, we can slow down or even reverse the progression of age-related eye conditions [1][2]. Moreover, understanding the role of collagen in the repair and regeneration processes opens up new avenues for supporting joint health, muscle preservation, and bone healing [3][4][6].


While a well-planned vegan or vegetarian diet can provide the necessary amino acids for collagen synthesis [5], it's essential to recognize that long-term deficiencies may require additional interventions. As functional nutrition practitioners, we can take a holistic approach and consider individual circumstances to tailor interventions that optimize collagen production and support the healing process in elderly patients.


My aim is to empower clients with knowledge and personalized nutritional guidance, dispelling misconceptions about ageing and health. By educating them about the benefits of specific nutrients, including antioxidants and collagen-building components, I can help them make informed choices to improve their overall well-being.


By working collaboratively with medical professionals and embracing an integrative approach, we can bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicine. Together, we can provide comprehensive care that addresses not only the symptoms but also the underlying nutritional deficiencies contributing to conditions like metabolic syndrome, sleep disruption, and age-related eye diseases.


As a functional nutrition practitioner, I have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the health and quality of life of our elderly patients. By recognizing the importance of personalized nutrition, supplementation, and the role of collagen in the healing process, we can help restore vitality, promote longevity, and improve overall health outcomes.


References:

  1. Short-term Outcomes of Saffron Supplementation in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration: A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Randomized Trial. Med Hypothesis Discov Innov Ophthalmol 2016, Spring; 5(1): 32–38. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5342880.

  2. Saffron therapy for the treatment of mild/moderate age-related macular degeneration: a randomised clinical trial. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2019, 257, 31-40. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00417-018-4163-x#citeas.

  3. High glycine concentration increases collagen synthesis by articular chondrocytes in vitro: acute glycine deficiency could be an important cause of osteoarthritis. Amino Acids 2018 Oct;50(10):1357-1365. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6153947.

  4. Age-related macular degeneration and changes in the extracellular matrix. Med Sci Monit 2014, Jun 18;20:1003-16. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4072585.

  5. Collagen loss with age. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/collagen.

  6. Type III collagen modulates fracture callus bone formation and early remodeling. J Orthop Res 2015, May;33(5):675-84. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406871.


8 views0 comments

コメント


bottom of page