The secret ingredient

A dash of snake venom antidote, a sprinkling of turmeric, a two-hour lunch in the Mediterranean sun? Concocting a recipe for eye health from the latest research makes for diverse reading


What would be the perfect recipe for eye health? Depending on who you ask, and when, the list of ingredients would be very different.

Few would consider a dark chocolate contender for the shopping list but in May a small study published in a prestigious journal suggested that the sugary, high-fat snack could temporarily improve visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.

However, sweet-toothed celebrations were short-lived, with the NHS issuing a response to the study essentially saying they weren’t having a (chocolate) bar of it.

The accepted wisdom on nutritional supplements for eye health also has a tendency to change over time.

While it has been popular in the past for practitioners to recommend supplements containing omega three to dry eye patients, US research published in April found that the treatment effect was no better than those given a placebo.

Recent OT coverage has touched on the benefits of Mediterranean and Oriental diets for eye health, as well as the potential of a turmeric extract for the treatment of glaucoma and an antidote used to combat snake venom and bee stings in alleviating keratitis.

Like replicating a great grandmother’s recipe closely guarded across generations, it is a difficult job to prise truth from conjecture, long-lasting insight from fads.

That is where the AOP are here to help. We have clinical experts on hand who can sift the wheat from the chaff when it comes to eye health research.

And for patients, the AOP’s ‘Love your Eyes’ video offers simple top tips on caring for their eye health.

Image credit: Getty