Nutrition and it’s Role in Myopia Progression
Edwards, M H et al.1 studied whether variations in normal nutrition play a role in the development of myopia. Their study compared the nutritional intake and some simple body measurements for a group of children who subsequently became myopic with that of a group who did not become myopic. They found the children who developed myopia had a generally lower intake of many of the food components than children who did not become myopic. The differences were statistically significant for energy intake, protein, fat, vitamins B1, B2 and C, phosphorus, iron, and cholesterol. Despite these differences, children who became myopic were neither shorter nor lighter, at the age of 7 years, than children who did not become myopic. They concluded there is no evidence that the incident myopes were in any way undernourished and it therefore seems that their energy requirements were less than those of the control subjects.
Certain studies have shown that sunlight (and ultraviolet light) exposure, along with the vitamin riboflavin is able to strengthen the structure of the sclera, the outside “white” of the eye. The suggestion is that a stronger sclera is less prone to the stretching associated with axial elongation in myopia, although the study fails to demonstrate the sclera is made strong enough to resist this stretching common in progressive myopia.
The structural proteins in the eye are mostly collagen. Nutrients responsible for healthy collagen include calcium, magnesium, born, silica, selenium, manganese, vitamin D and specifically vitamin C and bioflavonoids. There is no data to support the suggestion that additional intake of these nutrients act to strengthen the collagen matrix in the eye and minimize the risk of scleral stretching associated with myopic “creep”.
Daubs JG., et al.2 reported that the incidence of reported blindness due to malignant myopia was found to be inversely related to distance to seacoast, and correlated the distance to reduction in sunshine, fluoride, calcium and selenium. He made the comparison to risk factors for dental carries and suggests further study of these factors in the progression of malignant myopia.
Politzer M in Experiences in the Medical Treatemtn of Progressive Myopia,3 studied the effect of anthocyanosides and vitamin E on refraction, visual acuity and eye fundus. They concluded from their observations that the form of Vitamin E they used (Difrarel E) achieves therapeutically valuable results in the treatment of progressive myopia.
Edwards MH studied an association between diet and myopia4 for the first time for a group of children who weren’t myopic to start and became myopic and with a group who did not become myopic.
He found children who developed myopia had a generally lower intake of many of the food components than children who did not become myopic. The differences were statistically significant for energy intake, protein, fat, vitamins B1, B2 and C, phosphorus, iron, and cholesterol. Despite these differences, children who became myopic were neither shorter nor lighter, at the age of 7 years, than children who did not become myopic and concluded there is no evidence that the incident myopes were in any way undernourished and it therefore seems that their energy requirements were less than those of the control subjects
Epidemiologic evidence indicates that time outdoors reduces the risk of myopia, suggesting a possible role for vitamin D. Polymorphisms within the Vitamin D Receptor (VDR) gene appear to be associated with low to moderate amounts of myopia in white subjects. Future studies should determine whether this finding can be replicated and should explore the biological significance of these variations with respect to myopia. In summary, we found that polymorphisms within the vitamin D receptor gene were associated with myopia, particularly in white subjects with low myopia, accounting for a large proportion of model variance (12%) over age alone. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3109057/
Emanuel M. Josephson’s Nutritional Theory of Myopia
Emanuel M. Josephson, MD, believed that myopia was caused by a rise in intraocular pressure. Unlike others who shared this opinion, Josephson believed that near work had nothing to do with this rise in pressure. Nonetheless, Dr. Josephson believed that myopia could be prevented by maintaining a proper “salt-water balance” in the blood through proper nutrition.5
He claimed Near-sightedness, or myopia, owes its origin to the same type of disturbance in the fluid exchange of the eye as does glaucoma.6
Lane reported highly significant chromium/vanadium ratio depression indexed in nape hair of myopes, associated with depressed accommodation and elevated intraocular pressure, putatively associated with depression of insulin potentiation of glucose uptake by ciliary-muscle insulin receptors7.
Lane also claims Foods rich in Cr and vanadium including chocolate, kelp, mushrooms, most U.S. chow-fed poultry, and seafood larger than herring play a role in the progression of myopia in people predisposed to myopia.8
References direct you to Lane and others research on the role of nutrition in the development of myopia
Lane BC. Nutrition in Eye and Vision Development and Function. Santa Ana, California, USA: Optometric Extension Program Foundation, 1989, in press. Gardiner PA. Dietary treatment of myopia in children. Lancet 1958;1:1152-5. Kolosov VI, Kucheriavy NI, Kurochkin VN, et al. Further studies of the role of changes in phosphorocalcium metabolism in the mechanism of progression of myopia in children. Oftal’mologicheskii Zhurnal 1981; 36(1):25-9 (Russian). Lane BC. Calcium, chromium, protein, sugar and accommodation in myopia. In: Fledelius HC, Alsbirk PH, Goldschmidt E, eds. Documenta Ophthalmologica Proc Series. Vol 28. Third International Conference on Myopia, Copenhagen. The Hague: Dr W Junk Publishers, 1981: 141-8
Lane BC. Nutrition and vision. In: Bland J, ed. First Edition: 1984-85 Yearbook of Nutritional Medicine. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1985: 239-81.
Lane BC. Erythrocyte chromium-to-vanadium ratio depression in high myopia and elevation in high hyperopia. Am J Optom Physiol Optics 1988;65(10):147P (abstract #66).
Lane BC. Folate, ascorbate, calcium, chromium and vanadium in myopia prevention and reversal. Metabol Pediatr Syst Ophthalmol 1982; 6(2):149-50.
Linder B. Acute posterior vitreous detachment and its retinal complications: A clinical biomicroscopic study. Acta Ophthalmologica Supplementum 87 (Copenhagen), 1966; 1- 109.
Varma SD. Ascorbic Acid and the eye with special reference to the lens. In: Burns JJ, Rivers JM, Machlin LJ, eds. Annals NY Acad Sci. Vol 498. Third Conference on Vitamin C. New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1987: 280-306. Lane BC. Myopia triggered by sustained accommodation and deficit-inducing diets. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 69(10), 1477. (1979)
Lane BC. Human myopia related to interaction of sustained accommodation and anomalous concentrations of chromium and calcium. American Association for the Advancement of Science: Abstracts of papers of the 146th national meeting, 3-8 January 1980, San Francisco, California, p. 153, No. 434. (1980h)
Lane BC. Deficit nutriture, accommodative stimulus and ocular hypertension. American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics, 58(1), 100. (Abstract) (1981a)
Lane BC. Calcium, chromium, protein, sugar and accommodation in myopia. Documenta Ophthalmologica Proceedings Series. Vol. 28: Third International Conference on Myopia, Copenhagen, 1980. H. C. Fledelius, P. H. Alsbirk, and E. Goldschmidt, Eds. The Hague: Dr. W. Junk Publishers, 141-148. (1981e)
Lane BC. Lead, vanadium, and chromium affect eye focusing. Energy, Health and the Environment: Program and Abstracts, American Public Health Association, 109th Annual Meeting, November 1-5, 1981, Los Angeles, CA, §2126, pages 245-246. (1981g) Lane BC. Milk, sugar and myopia prevention and reversal. American Association for the Advancement of Science: Abstracts of Papers of the 148th National Meeting, 3-8 January 1982, Washington, DC, p. 149, No. 259. (1982a) Lane BC. Folate, ascorbate, calcium, chromium and vanadium in myopia prevention and reversal. Metabolic, Pediatric and Systemic Ophthalmology, 6(2):149-150. (1982c) Lane BC. Myopia prevention and reversal: New data confirms the interaction of accommodative stress and deficit-inducing nutrition. Journal of the International Academy of Preventive Medicine, 7(3=Nov), 17-30. (1982d) Lane BC. Ascorbate, calcium, chromium/vanadium ratio, and folate as nutriture factors in myopia development. American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics, 59(10):22P. (Abstract) (1982d) Lane BC. Chromium Versus Sucrose and Vanadium in Myopia Progression. Western Hemisphere Nutrition Congress VII Program and Abstracts, pages 9 and 85. Published by American Medical Association–Food and Nutrition Program, Chicago, IL. (1983a) Lane BC. Food Intake Associated with Depressed Cr/V Ratio, Accommodative weakness, Ocular Hypertension and Myopia Progression. American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics, 60(10):82P. (Abstract) (1983b) Lane BC. Nutrition and vision. In Bland J, Ed. First Edition: 1984-’85 Yearbook of Nutritional Medicine, 239-281. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, 1985.
1Optometry and Vision Science, October 1996, Vol. 73 #10 pp 621-675
2Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 1984;4(2):143-9
3Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 1977 Oct;171(4):616-9
4Optom Vis Sci. 1996 Oct;73(10):638-43
5Glaucoma and its Medical Treatment with Cortin, by Emanuel M. Josephson, MD, pp. 88
6Near-Sightedness Is Preventable/, by Emanuel M. Josephson, MD. (1939) pp. 25-26
7JOSA 1979; 69(10): 1477; J Int Acad Prev Med 1982; 7(3): 17-30
8HIGH MYOPES areBIOCHEMICALLY DIFFERENT from HIGH HYPEROPESBenjamin Clarence Lane, OD, Karan Raj Aggarwala, PhD, Myopia 2000, Proceedings of the VIII International Conference on Myopia)