© 2009 Nancy Appleton PhD and G.N. Jacobs
How does a non-surgical treatment for cataracts grab you? As we age, cataract-related eye problems will only become more numerous. Estimates published in 2003 said that 42-percent of all blindness cases worldwide are due to cataracts and that 28,000 new cases were reported daily. These estimates also said that 43-percent of ophthalmologist referrals for Medicare patients were for cataracts. In civilized countries, mainstream treatment says surgery, even though there is up to a 50-percent chance of a relapse within two years and up to a 2-percent chance of surgical complications. In the rest of the world without enough trained eye surgeons, treatment may only be a shrug. Apparently, we need a non-surgical treatment that may help prevent and reverse the formation of cataracts.
A cataract is an eye problem consisting of proteins that fail to respond to the body’s natural antioxidants to remove Free Radicals to deal with oxidative stress. The proteins turn brown and yellow in the lens and cloud up vision. This process occurs during glycation or glycosylation, which is the process of how excess sugar binds with protein. Sugar is supposed to bind with proteins using enzymes, but if the body gets too much sugar this process happens differently and many bad results follow from these Advanced Glycated End Products (AGE). Glycation and oxidative stress are paired stressors on the body and cataracts are one possible outcome.
So, if there are just enough reasons to avoid surgery how do we prevent cataracts? Of course, Dr. Appleton will find at least one study that directly says sugar helps cause cataracts. In a recent study conducted in Pakistan, the researchers found that higher fructose levels in the blood led to reduced antioxidants and created conditions that could predict cataract formation.[i]
However, even if a cataract patient stops with the sugar the condition can continue to get worse. What to do? Much research has centered on variations of the antioxidant L-carnosine in an eye drop solution. Eventually, trial and error settled on N-acetylcarnosine as being the best way to get the L-carnosine into the eye without it breaking down into histamines too soon, so that it can work to clear up the oxidative stress that clouds vision.[ii]
A 1-percent solution of NALC dropped into the eye at least twice a day fights with the Free Radicals in the lens by binding with the glycation products that would otherwise bind with various proteins in the lens. The makers of Con-C, one such NALC formula, report consistent results above 80-percent improvement for all classes of cataract patients, even those who had vision problems for more than 20 years all without side effects.[iii]
For most patients, it takes at least three months for the changes in the eyes to become noticeable as improved vision. Obviously, the reminder to consult a medical professional before starting any treatment applies here as well, but you now have some alternatives to discuss before you go under the knife. To be fair, Con-C shares the market with another similar formula called Brite Eyes. We presume an equal effectiveness.
[i] Gul, A. et al. “Role of fructose concentration on cataractogenesis in senile diabetic and non-diabetic patients.” Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Jun;247(6):809-14. Epub 2009 Feb 6.
[ii] Babizhayev MA, et al. “N-Acetylcarnosine and histidyl-hydrazide are potent agents for multitargeted ophthalmic therapy of senile cataracts and diabetic ocular complications.” J Drug Target. 2009 Jan;17(1):36-63.
[iii] Babizhayev MA, et al. “N-Acetylcarnosine sustained drug delivery eye drops to control the signs of ageless vision: Glare sensitivity, cataract amelioration and quality of vision currently available treatment for the challenging 50,000-patient population.” Clin Interv Aging. 2009;4(1):31-50. Epub 2009 May 14.