eyes

  1. The right fats at the right time

    Do as I say, not as I do -- that's the message from a new study that finds omega-3 fatty acids can slash anxiety and reduce inflammation.

    The researchers behind it say they won't recommend omega-3 supplements for everyone despite their results... but admit they're taking the things themselves.

    Talk about selfish!

    To heck with them, be sure to get your share -- and the new study is only one of the many reasons why.

    In this one, the fatty-acid-hogging researchers recruited 68 first- and second-year medical students and assigned them to either omega-3 supplements or a placebo, then tracked them for the school year.

    Normally, medical students would be the ideal victims for a study like this, and the researchers were banking on a "hell week" of intense exams to really test those supplements.

    Well, you know how today's youths are mollycoddled like never before -- and sadly, medical school is no exception. After the study began, the exam schedule was changed to space the tests out, giving the students an easier load and less stress.

    "These students were not anxious," researcher Janice Kiecolt-Glaser told NPI Center. "They weren't really stressed. They were actually sleeping well throughout this period."

    Kids today -- they have no idea how good they have it!

    Even with the less-than-hellish weeks, fish oil managed to distinguish itself. The students who got the omega-3 supplements had 20 percent less anxiety and 14 percent lower levels of the inflammation marker interleukin-6 (IL-6) than the students on the placebo.

    But I promised you many reasons, not just the new study, and here they are: Fish oil can protect your heart, brain, eyes and more.

    If there's any supplement you should be taking, this is the one -- because unless you have a pretty steady fatty fish habit, you're not getting enough.

  2. Vitamin C for your eyes

    If you want to protect your eyes, forget carrots -- there's another "C" that plays a much more important role in how you see: Vitamin C.

    Two new studies show how C can keep your peepers performing at their peak -- including one that finds that certain retina cells literally shut down when they run out of C.

    The researchers wrote in the Journal of Neuroscience that their finding suggests a diet rich in vitamin C may protect against glaucoma -- but more importantly, they say the retinal cells used in the study are closely related to similar cells in the brain.

    And if low C can cause those cells in the eye to go dark, just imagine how it can dim your mind.

    But let's get back to your eyes here, because another new study -- this one out of India -- finds that people with the highest dietary intake of C have a 39 percent lower risk of cataracts than those with the lowest C levels.

    That study was based on a questionnaire over dietary habits, so I'm not going to waste your time with the details -- but it's worth mentioning because plenty of other studies have also made a much more direct link between low C and cataract risk.

    I remember one a few decades back that found every 1 mg/dl increase in blood levels of vitamin C led to a 26 percent decrease in cataract risk.

    Along with vision, vitamin C also appears to have a direct impact on hearing: When I say "vitamin C," most people just hear "orange juice" -- and that's the last place you should be looking for this nutrient.

    OJ is pure sugar with some vitamin C swimming around in it. You may as well put vitamin C in your Coke.

    The best natural sources of C are actually peppers -- bell and chili -- along with broccoli, kale and papaya. But to get what you really need, you'll probably want a supplement.

    I suggest at least 1,200 mg a day, or roughly 15 times what the U.S. government recommends.

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