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Cataracts - A Sign of a Deeper Problem.

Cataracts Predict Infection and Early Death.....

Dr. Trempe, my mentor at Harvard, showed me that cataracts are actually a sign of a progressive cardiovascular problem, in many people.

The first comprehensive study on the eye cataract / early mortality connection was the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). Since its publication, 15+ studies around the globe have proven the same relationship but no one is doing anything about it - sadly (except us and were are working to educate more people and providers).


Studies showing the connection between cataracts and early death:

This is NOT a trivial risk. Increased mortality for a cataract is similar to a diagnosis of breast cancer. Six year increase in mortality is about 11%. That is, you have a 1 in 10 chance of dying in 6 years from vascular complications if you are diagnosed with a cataract.

Here is the chart from the initial study for those of you who like data:


What Causes the Increase in Mortality?

This image tells us quite a bit. She was infected with Ebola and then developed cataracts.

Interpretation: The cataract is part of the immune response against infection.

Older people who develop cataracts most likely have a chronic infection like lyme disease, periodontal disease, or a very common but seldom detected organism called Chlamydia pneumoniae.


Determine Your Risk:

The way to determine your risks whether you have a cataract or not, is through blood testing. We look carefully at a variety of blood markers with emphasis on white blood cell counts. Your doctor will view a white blood cell (WBC) count between 3800 - 10,800 as normal. We know that a WBC as low as 6000 may be indicative of a chronic infection. Healthy people have a WBC of 4500 +/- 500. We offer a low-cost way to determine your risks - get your CDT.


Misinformation Abounds:

A blog that came to my email today gave several suggestions on how to prevent or overcome cataracts. As you go down this list, determine which ones help you fight a chronic infection:

  1. Avoid the sun by wearing sunglasses (I don't recommend this - your eyes benefit from full sun - just avoid looking directly at the sun. Your pupils change to filter light. The healing power of the sun won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1903.

  2. Get exercise - good advice

  3. Limit refined carbs - good advice

  4. Get enough healthy nutrients - good advice (I recommend lots of cod liver oil - not mentioned in the blog)

  5. Embrace turmeric (This is just another nutrient I believe is getting too much credit. Stick with recommendation 4 and eat "nutrient dense" foods whatever your eating style.

  6. Quit smoking - good advice

  7. Avoid aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) - good advice (Few scientific studies to indicate that aspartame really is a cause of cataracts)

  8. Avoid statin (cholesterol) drugs - good advice (Statins inhibit the circulation of healthy fats like vitamin A, EPA, DHA and other fats that fight infection and health the membranes of neurological tissues found in the eye and brain.


Health is all about the little things. If you are concerned about cataracts or your risk for early mortality, the best place to start is with a proper blood test.

Be Well...

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