Our Military Veterans, legal blindness, PTSD and nutrition


2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight


 December 20, 2014

My wife and I were invited to speak at the December 20 Blinded Veterans Association South Texas regional group in San Antonio at the DFW.  The President of the  BAV STRG Walley Guerra and I spoke previously about blind diseases.  The veterans in this Association are all legally blind, and have other health issues.  I speak and teach Jiu-jitsu at the Texas School of the Blind each year.  I have sponsored many blind students from Criss Cole Vocation school for the blind students since 1999.  I learned so much more regarding veterans, their personal challenges and different forms of blindness and how it has affected them.

In attendance were the BVA national President Mark Cornell, BVA-STRG President Walley Guerra, BVA-STRG Vice President Jose A Cotto, BVA-STRG Secretary Elbert brown, Audie Murphy VA Hospital Visual Impairment service team coordinator Ronita Jones, and active duty soldiers from Ft. Sam Houston.


Wally Guerra asked us to address Military Veterans with different conditions of legal blindness, and  research on nutrition.

I did research on different forms of blindness.  I started with RP.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

I found a Study from Harvard that shows Vitamin A Slows Retinitis Pigmentosa1.  The issue has been many of the cheap, synthetic Vitamin A supplements.   Beta-carotene is considered an antioxidant and is also a precursor to vitamin A. This compound helps maintain healthy skin and also plays a vital role in eye health according to the World Health Organization.  Indicators include night blindness, hair loss, skin irritation and dry or inflamed eyes.  Vitamin A actually is best derived from animal sources.  Those are better digested.  Cod liver oil is the best source for Vitamin A, not a synthetic.

Cod liver oil: a potential protective supplement for human glaucoma

In my research, I found in the NCBI under the Journal of Opthalmology how Cod liver oil protects against Glaucoma:

“…One nutritional supplement with potential therapeutic value is cod liver oil, a dietary supplement that contains Vitamin A and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).  Vitamin A is important for preserving normal vision and it is a well-known antioxidant that prevents the oxidative damage that contributes to the etiology and progression of glaucoma.  Vitamin A is also a crucial factor for maintaining the integrity of conjunctival and corneal ocular surfaces, and preventing the impairment of ocular epithelium caused by topical antiglaucomatous drugs. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for glaucoma patients as they decrease IOP, increase ocular blood flow, and improve optic neuroprotective function. In this article, we propose that Cod liver oil as a combination of Vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, should be beneficial for the treatment of glaucoma. However, further studies are needed to explore the relationship between cod liver oil and glaucoma…”



Int J Ophthalmol. 2011; 4(6): 648–651.  Published online Dec 18, 2011.   doi: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2011.06.15


Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, one of a group of plant pigments known to have antioxidant and other effects. This is a substance in plants that’s quickly converted into vitamin A inside the body. Beta-carotene is often thought of as a form of vitamin A itself. Having normal levels of vitamin A is key for good vision, strong immunity, and general health.

Retinitis Pigmentosa Study with low current stimulation and nutrition.  I referenced Retinal Research studies that may be promising for RP.  A study regarding weak electrical currents applied to the eyes along with nutrition had shown visual and psychological improvements to RP Patients.


1.Voaden M J: Retinal Research, Pergamon Press, 1991; 10: 294.

2. Hayes KC, et al: Science, 1975; 188: 949.3. Bradford RW, Allen HW: Taurine in Health and Disease. Volume 2, No. 6, USA, Raum and Zeit, 1991; 17-23.

3. Newsome D A, Swartz M, et al: Oral Zinc in Macular Degeneration. Arch Ophthal, 1988; 106: 192-198.

4. Michael, LD, Allen MJ: Nutritional supplementation, electrical stimulation and age related macular degeneration. J Orthomol Med, 1993;2. 8: 168-1715. Allen, MJ: Treating age related macular degeneration, Letter. Optom Vis Sci, 1994; 71: 293.

5. Kurtz JL: The principles and practice of ocular physical therapy for optometrists, Am J Optom Publ. 1930.

6. Wallace L: The treatment of macular degeneration and other retinal diseases using bioelectromagnetic therapy, J Optom Photother, 1997; 3.2. Rockland Corporation, 12320 E. Skelly Drive, Tulsa, OK 74128.

7. Richer, S: “Atrophic ARMD, a Nutrition responsive disease. Guest Editorial, J Am Optomc Assoc, 1996; 67: 6-10.

8. Richer, S: Multicenter ophthalmic and nutritional age-related macular degeneration study, parts 1 and 2. J Am Optomc Assoc,, 1996: Vol. 67: 12-49.

9. Cheraskin E: Antioxidants in health and disease. J Am Optomc Assoc, 1996; 67: 50-57

10. June 1993 Archives of Ophthalmology


Opthalmologist Dr. Ronald Pugh on Macular degeneration

I found an interesting story about Opthalmologist Dr. Ronald Pugh discussing Macular degeneration and how 27 of his patients were reversed with supplements and minerals.  Pugh originally argued with Dr. Joel Wallach, known as the lead expert on minerals.  Dr. Pugh later apologized for refuting nutrition and Macular Degeneration.  His formal apology and endorsement for nutrition and eye disease is called ‘Seeing is believing’ by CD.  A clip can be found on youtube



Dr. Ronald Grisanti Research on carnosine and cataracts

I discussed research on Dr. Grisanti’s theories on Carnosine and cataracts.


Dr. Grisanti shows promising research claiming:

...When carnosine is acetylated, as in N-acetyl-L-carnosine, it becomes a time-release dipeptide that can move easily both into water-soluble as well as lipid-containing parts of the eye and improves DNA repair, thus bringing vision back to better levels...

...After six months, 90% of the eyes treated with N-acetyl carnosine showed improvements in visual acuity anywhere from 7-100%. 
...Glare sensitivity improved 27-100% in 88% of people. And there was no worsening of vision, as there should have been with time.


1. Babizhayev M, at al, Efficacy of N-acetyl-carnosine in the treatment of cataracts, Drugs Res Devel, 3;2:87-103, 2002

2. Rogers Sherry, Total Wellness, Prestige Publishing

3. Babizhayev MA, Biomarkers and special features of oxidative stress in the anterior segment of the eye linked to lens cataract and the trabecular meshwork injury in primary open-angle glaucoma

4. challenges of dual combination therapy with N-acetylcarnosine lubricant eye drops and oral formulation of nonhydrolyzed carnosine, Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2012 Feb;26(1):86-117.

5. Babizhayev MA, Deyev AI, Yermakova VN, Brikman IV, Bours J, Lipid peroxidation and cataracts: N-acetyl-carnosine as a therapeutic tool to manage age-related cataracts in human and in canine eyes, Drugs R D. 2004;5(3):125-39.

6. Babizhayev MA, Micans P, Guiotto A, Kasus-Jacobi A, N-acetylcarnosine lubricant eyedrops possess all-in-one universal antioxidant protective effects of L-carnosine in aqueous and lipid membrane environments, aldehyde scavenging, and transglycation activities inherent tocataracts: a clinical study of the new vision-saving drug N-acetylcarnosine eyedrop therapy in a database population of over 50,500 patients, Am J Ther. 2009 Nov-Dec;16(6):517-33

7. Quinn PJ, et al, Carnosine: its properties, functions and potential therapeutic applications, Molec Aspects Med, 13; 5:379-444, 1992

Research on patients who have been left partially blind by a stroke

A promising therapy is offering hope to patients who have been left partially blind by a stroke. (From the 2005 The Wall Street Journal)

The vision therapy is one of the first to exploit the brain’s rewiring capabilities, known as neuroplasticity, though the notion holds promise for treating a number of conditions such as stroke-induced paralysis or obsessive-compulsive disorder. For decades scientists had thought that the brain undergoes very little change after childhood. They knew the adult brain could form the new connections that underlie learning and memory, but believed that its basic structure was immutable and fixed, or “hard wired.”

VRT at the International Stroke Conference in New Orleans, researchers at the University of Magdeburg, Germany, say that in a small study, one-third of VRT patients had modest but noticeable improvement, and one-third had strong improvement. In a few cases, the entire blind spot disappeared. One-third of the patients in the study had no improvement in their vision. Participants were followed for three years after treatment and the results were found to be lasting, according to lead researcher, Bernhard Sabel.

Dr. Sabel helped form a closely held company, NovaVision, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., to offer the therapy, which received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003. Clinics began offering it commercially last year. Today, seven clinics, including the Neurological Institute of New York at ColumbiaUniversityMedicalCenter and EmoryEyeCenter in Atlanta, Ga., offer it. The six-month regimen averages around $6,000 and isn’t currently covered by insurance


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts:

• Almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans

• As many as 10 percent of Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans

• 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan

• 20 percent of Iraqi war veterans

PTSD is not simply a ‘military’ or ‘war’ syndrome.  It is a condition with multiple symptoms from different sources.  A type of trauma, whether shock, injury, mental pain, can cause different reactions.  Those with PTSD are not insane people, or someone that just has a problem in their mind.  It is a condition that both civilian and military people can have.  Nutrition for the Brain I discussed from:


…regarding Neurotransmitters, the biochemical messengers of the brain and natural supplements such as GABA and amino acids Taurine, Theanine, Glycine, Glutamine, and 5-hydroxy Tryptophan; and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), which is essential for neurotransmitter metabolism.  In addition, the Omega-3 fatty acids, most readily obtained from a high-quality marine oil supplement, nourish brain cells and reduce inflammation that amplifies stress hormone levels, and are fundamental to any nutritional support program for PTSD….

Discussing more research on adrenals, sleep, proper hormone balance are definitely so needed in research and funding for PTSD.  I always bring a bottle of my St. Jude’s Miracle oilTM everywhere Chandra and I go.  We were supposed to speak for about 15 minutes.  We went a bit over, as many veterans began asking questions on research.  I thought it was great.  They are people who want to live healthier lives and we need to provide more research for those solutions.  Our oil was very positive when we sampled it to members.  Many have arthritis, and other conditions.

Chandra and I were very fortunate to serve our community and we presented a check for $500 to the Blinded Veterans Association.  They need public support, and we hope to work with them more in the future.  I sent a bottle of the oil to VP Jose Cottos.  He discussed his arthritis in his joints and inability to do many activities.  On Christmas day, I received an email from Jose:

“Merry X-mas to you ,Chandra and your loved ones.  I’m glad to report that for the first time in a long time I was able to walk one mile ,only stopping  once to rest for one minute.


That made my Christmas day even better.  Don’t forget our Veterans, and don’t wait for Veterans day to post on facebook. There are 364 other days in the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Prof. William Vandry

Absorb and think