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Post Info TOPIC: Diet Vs Keratoconus


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Posts: 397
Date: Thu Jan 19 10:15 PM, 2006
Diet Vs Keratoconus

It has been interesting to read recently how diet is being more and more attributed to certain disease. After having Mini Ark the Lombardi Clinic suggested I try a Ph Diet... it also seems that other's have looked into the link between nutrition and keratoconus:

Many conditions have been linked to magnesium (Mg) deficiency.
Keratoconus -

Researchers in Argentina found that patients with keratoconus were more likely to be deficient in magnesium than controls. (Interestingly, one of the researchers from this study also noticed the links between Mg deficits, keratoconus and Marfan and Down syndromes.)

Patients with keratoconus are about 8 times more likely to have mitral valve prolapse than controls. Patients with mitral valve prolapse are also usually magnesium deficient. Mg is the common link between the two conditions. Keratoconus, like mitral valve prolapse, is a feature found in many connective tissue disorders.

Patients with keratoconus are 5 times more likely than controls to exhibit hypermobility of selected joints. Hypermobility is also closely linked to mitral valve prolapse, too. Like mitral valve prolapse, hypermobility may also result from magnesium deficits. All three conditions are linked to connective tissue disorders.

Keratoconus, mitral valve prolapse, hypermobility and fibromyalgia are all also all linked to hyaluronic acid abnormalities. Hyaluronic acid synthesis is Mg dependent.

It would be of interest to see what our members have to say as regards diet and its effect on KC. Also the issue of smoking and KC??... these are all very interesting as I am sure that our sight is a finely tuned mechanism that HAS to be affected by what we eat and how we excercise.



Date: Sat Feb 18 5:40 AM, 2006

Just wanted to add something about the smoking... i've heard from at least two different eye Dr's that smoking shrinks collagen... so who's got a light?



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Posts: 437
Date: Sun Feb 19 9:37 AM, 2006

Hi Hary,
I think that if KC starts when one is in his/her teens, diet is not important, well less important than other factors. But if KC starts when you are after 30 (my case), diet, exercise and equipose may be a very important issue.


Phase Two

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Posts: 482
Date: Thu Dec 21 6:33 AM, 2006

A comprehesive nutritional protocol for keratoconus

Optometric Management,  Mar 2000  by Freedman, Joseph M 

Learn about this practitioner's approach to treating keratoconus.

Keratoconus slowly robs young people of their vision and creates a multitude of other problems. Fortunately, a flurry of research is now shedding some light on the mechanisms responsible for this disorder. I also conduct my own research by way of treating several hundred keratoconics each year in my own practice. I have been using a comprehensive nutritional protocol on most of these patients with remarkable results in some - apparently slowing the progression, or in some cases, actually halting keratoconic changes.

The disease

Association of keratoconus with eye rubbing and atopy has been suggested by studies, but its cause has eluded us until now.

* Collagen. Recent studies have suggested that one possible cause of keratoconus involves the increased degradation of the corneal extracellular matrix (collagen) by lysosomal proteolytic enzymes. This enhancement of collagenolytic activity could explain the pathological tissue destruction that's seen in keratoconic corneas.

One of the theories explaining this up-regulation of collagenase activity is based on the observation that fibroblasts derived from keratoconic corneas synthesize a greater amount of the proinflammatory prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) than normal corneas. The E2 class of prostaglandin is a product of the cyclooxygenase pathway and contributes to heightened lysosomal secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). These MMPs are responsible, in part, for the accelerated stromal collagen wasting.

* Nutritional treatments. The essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and gammalinoleic acid (GLA) inhibit PGE2 production and act as substrates in the cyclooxygenase pathway for the production of the beneficial anti-inflammatory prostaglandins PGE3 and PGE1. The introduction of these EPAs and GLAs into the diet may significantly alter the keratoconic process by dampening the levels of MMPs and the consequent pathological tissue destruction. Vitamin E has also been shown to suppress PGE2 and is therefore a useful nutrient for patients with keratoconus. Additionally, bioflavonoids have been reported to suppress PGE2 synthesis and confer moderate inhibition of collagenolytic activity of stromal fibroblasts comparable to 40% of the effect of tetracycline.

Decreased collagen synthesis

Due to the combined effects of increased collagenolysis and reduced protease inhibition, there is a gradual reduction of collagen in the keratoconic cornea. The biosynthesis of collagen involves the hydroxylation of proline residues by the enzyme protyl-4hydroxylase of which vitamin C is a co-factor. Increasing the dietary availability of this vitamin may have a favorable effect on disease progression.

Theoretically, bioflavonoids such as quercetin, bilberry, green tea polyphenols and particularly pycnogenol are also useful in keratoconus treatment, as they are all stabilizers of collagen. A recent study reported that flavonoids exert moderate collagenolytic inhibition (through PGE2 and leukotriene inhibition), as well as augment collagen synthesis in fibroblasts. Quercetin is also a natural antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer and may reduce ocular itching and eye rubbing.


The soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein are phyto-estrogenic compounds with a multitude of pharmacological effects including powerful protease inhibition. They can potentially alter the collagenolytic activity in keratoconus.

Studies with dual focuses

In a study reported in Experimental Eye Research, the alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor found in the epithelium of keratoconic corneas was approximately onefourth of that found in normal human controls. In addition, the stromal extracts of keratoconic corneas contained about onesixth the inhibitor level of that in normal corneas.

A pharmaceutical firm is using a low dose (20mg) tetracycline to combat gingivitis. At that trace amount, tetracycline has very little antimicrobial action, but it's sufficient to exert protease inhibition. Might it also have an application in corneal thinning pathologies?

Pay attention to what's going on in current studies and keep an eye on the effect of your own nutritional protocol. Staying abreast of current information will only increase your credibility with patients as well as your understanding of keratoconus.

JOSEPH M. FREEDMAN, O.D. , Roslyn, N. Y.

Dr. Freedman is a nutritionally oriented optometrist in practice in Roslyn, N.Y. He developed the first antioxidant for ocular use and is a consultant to the nutrition and pharmaceutical industries.

-- Edited by QuintriX at 06:34, 2006-12-21



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Posts: 7
Date: Mon Nov 26 2:36 AM, 2007

I had a very dramatic regression in my KC after adopting a vegetarian diet consisting of mostly fresh produce. My doctor has never seen anything like my case and actually sent it off to a few medical schools.

Diet affects so many conditions, mainly because many of the foods Western society eats are toxic to the body. I didn't understand why my KC receded until I read "Eat to Live" by Dr. Fuhrman. He talks about how he started seeing heart disease and cancers reverse after people switched to his diet.

I have detailed things I did on my web site.


Note there is no www in the address.



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Posts: 152
Date: Tue May 29 7:38 PM, 2012

Vitamins, Minerals, Anti-oxidents, Nutrition in general...all are known to be helpful for good eye health and health in general (and why not in some way for the cornea too ?! can't be a bad thing to eat healthy)

Here is a recent publication covering eye health in general (click through each page as there are some interesting topics covered)

-- Edited by Remo on Tuesday 29th of May 2012 09:34:31 PM



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Posts: 155
Date: Sun Jun 3 11:48 PM, 2012

Food alone (with omega 3) helps with dry eyes alot. Dry eyes is common in KC. Doing this has made my eyes feel relaxed and comfortable when before they used to ache/cause pain.




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Posts: 2
Date: Sat Sep 8 5:21 AM, 2012

No comment re: food. However, I have "hitchhikers thumb" hypermobility of the thumb and was diagnosed with KC at 17 yrs.
Now 60, 1 transplant & in remission on remaining kc eye. Hard lens tolerant.

I had never heard before of a link between kc & hypermobility of joints. Thanks for the food for thought.

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