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Nutrition and Eye Health  

In This Issue
Mineral of the Month
Reserve Your Spot for Diabetes & Nutrition 101
Volunteer for a Clinical Study!
Fatty Fish and Eye Health
Eye See You!
Retinopathy Reminders

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Mineral of the Month:  Potassium (K+)   

What Does it do? Potassium is an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance. It is essential for healthy functioning in the heart, kidneys, muscles, nervous system and digestive system.


Food Sources: Potassium is found in many foods. Most people can get enough potassium by following a healthy, balanced diet. Here are some healthy sources of potassium.

Fruits: Cantaloupe, avocados, bananas, apricots
Vegetables: baked potato (with skin), acorn squash, tomatoes, spinach
Dairy: low-fat plain yogurt, skim milk

Fish: Flounder, sardines, tuna

Poultry: white meat turkey and chicken

Nuts, Seeds: Pistachios, peanuts, pumpkin seeds


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):

Men and Women (18+ years): 4.7 mg/day

Pregnant and Lactating Women: 5.1 mg/day


Did you know ....our taste buds can tell when we're eating potassium? Higher levels of potassium ions give a bitter or even salty taste, where as lower concentrations give off a much sweeter taste.


Nutrition Class: Diabetes

 DCR will be holding its next nutrition class on August 10 at 1:30 pm. The cost will be $15 for a one-hour class on the basics of diabetes management. This class is a great introduction for caregivers, family members, or co-workers of an individual with diabetes as well as a refresher for those diagnosed with diabetes. The class will be focused primarily on Type 2 diabetes, and will review carbohydrate counting, portion size, label reading, and more.  Class conducted by Registered Dietitian Kelley Bradshaw. 


Free A1c tests will be offered to all who attend!


Advancing Health Newsletter August 2011

Meet Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein (pronounced loo-teen)and Zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uhzan-thin)are xanthophylls (a type of cartenoid ). As antioxidant pigments, they are naturally found in many vegetables and fruits.  Since our bodies do not make lutein and zeaxanthin, it is important that we eat a nutritious diet that is abundant in vegetables, especially dark leafy greens. Eggs are also a good source of lutein, which is responsible for giving the yolk its yellow-orange color.


Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the macula and retina of the eye.  Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD) measures the amount of these xanthophylls that are present in the macula.  MPOD predicts eye disease and eye function--the greater the amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet, the higher the MPOD, which means your eyes have a higher tolerance for bright, glaring light.


Multiple studies  have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts by acting as filters for the high-energy, eye damaging blue wavelengths of light.


Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Greens are great sources of eye antioxidants

A recommended daily intake (RDI) has not yet been established for lutein or zeaxanthin, although research suggests benefits with supplementation for  lutein at 10 mg/day  

and zeaxanthin 2mg/day.  


All information and images are from the American Optometric Association (www.aoa.org

Do You Have High Cholesterol?
Diablo Clinical Research is currently conducting a clinical research study for people with high cholesterol to better manage their cholesterol levels. Those who are currently on a daily dose of statin medication such as Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, also known as Simvastatin, are invited to find out if they qualify for a clinical research study to determine the safety and effectiveness of

an investigational medication to manage cholesterol.


To find out if you may qualify, call Diablo Clinical Research.    


Qualified Participants will receive: 

  • Study-­-related physical exams 
  • Electrocardiograms (ECG)
  • Laboratory tests and study medication

No insurance is required. Compensation for time and travel may be available.

For more information please call: (925) 930-­7267
Go Fish for Better Eye Health

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are great sources of heart healthy fat.  But did you know

Sight for sore eyes? Eat salmon!

(image via wikipedia) 

  that they are an important part of eye health? The Omega 3 fatty acids found in many types of fish includes DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid).  They have been shown to play a role in proper vision development and retina function.  DHA is found in the retina and EPA is necessary for DHA synthesis. Dry Eye syndrome has been linked with a omega-3 deficiency.  Low levels both DHA and EPA are associated with AMD and diabetic retinopathy.  In fact, the National Eye Institute's AREDS 2 study is currently looking at the effects of DHA and EPA supplemenation and eye benefits.  Research suggests 500  mg/day of essential fatty acids. A 3oz serving of salmon provides 1800 mg.  


Information from the AOA and NEI


Eye See You! 

Image via the National Eye Institute

Why are the macula and retina so important? The macula is in the center of the retina, which converts light into electrical pulses. The retina sends these electrical signals to our brain.  Without proper macular and retina function, we begin to lose our eyesight.

Do you see what 'eye' see?  

blurry vision? It may be macular edema.
Life is a bit more blurry with Diabetic Retinopathy. (Image via the NEI )

Diabetic  retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels in the retinas.  In the beginning, you may not have symptoms, but if it progresses, diabetic retinopathy can lead to vision loss.  

In proliferative retinopathy (the 4th stage of progression), excessive blood vessels leak blood into the retina, causing blurry vision. The retina swells, causing macular edema .  This can occur at any stage of retinopathy, but is more common in those with proliferative retinopathy. Since almost 50% of those with diabetes are likely to have retinopathy, it is important to get an annual exam. A healthy diet and frequent blood sugar monitoring for better glucose control can prevent or delay retinopathy from progressing. Studies have shown that hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina.  Controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol can also help reduce risk of vision loss. Don't wait for symptoms to begin before you take control of your blood sugar.  See your doctor, optometrist and registered dietitian on a regular basis.  Remember, prevention is best! 

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