The Carbohydrate-Eye Disease Connection

By Al Sears, MD

Editor: If you thought the damage caused by excess dietary carbohydrates, particularly refined carbs, wasn’t bad enough, it gets worse. Dr. Sears outlines the vision damage that can be caused by eating too many carbohydrates.

Article begins: Despite what your eye doctor may tell you, vision loss doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of getting older. And a new 20-year study backs up what I’ve been telling my patients for years…

Decades of eating a typical carb-heavy Western diet is what causes visual impairment – and even blindness – later in life.

The study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found an association between a diet full of carb-rich processed foods and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The researchers looked at the development of macular degeneration in 16,000 American adults. Using data on 66 different kinds of foods, they identified two distinct eating patterns. One they labeled “Prudent,” or healthy. The other, which included high levels of processed foods, grains, sweetened drinks, and sugar-laden desserts, they identified as “Western.”

The incidence of AMD vision loss was three times higher in the group that ate a Western diet.

I’m never surprised by studies like this. I’ve seen this pattern in the indigenous tribes I’ve studied for decades.

You see, the rate of vision loss among tribes has historically been very low. In fact, a century ago, the rate of visual impairment among Alaskan Inuits was less than 1%. Today it’s close to 50%!

And those numbers shot up in just a single generation.

So what’s changed for the Inuits?

Their diet. The traditional Inuit diet was stable for generations. It consisted of fish from the ocean; sea and land mammals including walrus, seal, whale, caribou, and polar bear; birds and eggs; seeds and berries.

A recent study found that only 16% of foods consumed by Inuit adults now come from their traditional diet. The other 84% is processed foods. 1

So it’s not surprising that one study found that only 2 out of 131 Inuit elders experienced vision loss. But more than half of their children and grandchildren — who grew up on processed foods — needed glasses. 2

The medical industry blamed compulsory schooling and “close [reading] work.” It’s a nice theory, but it doesn’t hold water. Here’s why…

There’s an island nation in the South Pacific called Vanuatu. The children here also attend school eight hours a day.

But they still eat a traditional diet. Most grow their own food — papaya, yams, coconut, and mangoes. They eat fish and raise fowl. The kids don’t eat cereal for breakfast or white bread sandwiches for lunch. And the rate of kids who need glasses in Vanuatu is just 2%.

Here’s what happens to your eyes on a carb-heavy diet…

The refined foods in the typical Western diet send a lot of sugar into your body. All that excess glucose — and your body’s insulin reaction — changes the shape of your eye.

On top of that, when your blood sugar constantly rises and falls, the delicate tissue and blood vessels in the eye get damaged. High sugar levels also make the lens of the eye swell. This causes blurry vision.

This is common in diabetics. But the truth is anyone with consistently high blood sugar is at risk of AMD.

One study from Tufts University found that people eating the most sugary carbs increased their risk of age- AMD by up to 42%. 3

High blood sugar levels cause damage to your vision in another way.

Cataracts are caused by sugar molecules attaching themselves to proteins in the lens of your eye, in a process called glycosylation. This causes the proteins to twist, bend over and clump together and as a result, your lens becomes cloudy and less elastic.

Three steps to rebuilding better vision

One: Go super-low carb. Your body’s requirement for carbs is zero. This means no grains, including so-called “healthy” whole grains, no processed sugars, and no foods from a box or bag. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, peas, and corn.

Also beware of hidden carbs. These include cashews, pistachios, almonds, bananas, apples, pears, grapes, and oranges.

Two: Eat more healthy fats. A study at the National Institutes of Health looked at the link between nutrition and AMD in more than 4,500 people. They found those who consumed the healthiest omega-3 fats from oily fish had the lowest rates of the disease. 4

But it’s hard to get what you need from food. I recommend supplementing with 600 mg to 1,000 mg of omega-3s from squid oil daily.

Three: Supplement with nature’s top two eyesight savers. The best nutrients for improving vision and protecting your eye health are lutein and zeaxanthin. In fact, your eyes can’t function without them. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can increase the pigment density in the macula and therefore lower the risk of macular degeneration.

Your best food sources for lutein and zeaxanthin are dark, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens. But it’s not easy getting enough from your food. I recommend supplementing with 20 mg of lutein and 1 mg of zeaxanthin.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD, CNS



  1. Morgan R, et al. “Inuit myopia: an environmentally induced “epidemic”?” Can Med Assoc J. 19758;112(5):575–577.
  2. “Western Diet Fuels Spike in Blood Pressure of Canada’s Inuit.” Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Accessed on July 19, 2022.
  3. Cordain L, et al “An evolutionary analysis of the aetiology and pathogenesis of juvenile-onset myopia.” Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica. 80(2):125-135.
  4. “Risk Factors Associated with AMD.” Ophthalmology. 2000, 107(12): 2224–2232.

Preventing Shingles: Is There a Better Alternative then Shingrix?

by Dr. Al Sears

There is a virus that remains dormant inside your body long after you were first infected…right up until the day it gets reactivated because of a weak immune system.

No, I’m not talking about Covid.

I’m talking about shingles. And anyone who’s ever had chickenpox as a child is at risk of getting this viral infection of the nervous system. They’re both caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

It’s not something you ever want to experience.

Shingles causes an outbreak of prolonged and painful blisters on your skin that can last for months. But there’s more to shingles than an agonizing rash…

A recent study came out in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology . It found that getting shingles increases your risk of heart attack and stroke by a whopping 41%.1

Shingles can also lead to pneumonia, hearing and vision loss, facial paralysis, and autoimmune diseases.

One out of five people who get shingles will go on to develop what’s known as postherpetic neuralgia. Patients have described the agony of this complication as “worse than childbirth” and “more painful than passing a kidney stone.” The slightest breeze or even your bed sheet is enough to trigger unbearable pain.

Traditional medical doctors will tell you that the only way to prevent shingles is with a Big Pharma vaccine.

But this kind of vaccine is linked with skyrocketing rates of autoimmune diseases… In fact, the FDA just slapped a new safety warning on GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine cash cow Shingrix. A large Medicare study found that the shot increases your risk for an autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

I take a different approach with my patients… I encourage them to avoid shingles — and the potential dangers of the vaccine — by getting their body’s immune system in tip-top shape.

A healthy immune system is the key to preventing any infectious disease.

One of the most powerful immune boosters I know of comes from deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. It’s a woody vine called cat’s claw that the Ashaninka tribe has used for thousands of years to boost immunity.

Today, clinical studies are validating what these traditional healers have known for centuries…

In one study, a group of volunteers were given 350 mg of cat’s claw twice daily or a placebo. After eight weeks, the number of white blood cells in the cat’s claw group increased substantially.2 A second study of healthy adults given cat’s claw for six weeks noted the same results.3

Cat’s claw works both by boosting your immune response and calming an overactive immune system. In one study, it was found to suppress TNF-α production by up to 85%. TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine produced by macrophages, monocytes, endothelial cells, neutrophils, smooth muscle cells, activated lymphocytes, astrocytes, and adipocytes. It’s released following infection and has a powerful antivirus effect.4

When it comes to additional viral infections, cat’s claw:

  • Was more effective at reducing symptoms in 31 volunteers with cold sores virus (herpes labialis) than the prescription antiviral drug Acyclovir.5
  • Stopped the spread of the herpes virus by preventing it from attaching to cells.6
  • Reduced incidence of human papillomavirus in 261 study volunteers.7
  • Prevented immune cells from being infected with dengue virus.8

Look for a supplement made from the inner bark of the plant and take 500 mg per day.

Shield your immune defense with nature’s remedies

Cat’s claw isn’t the only immune-boosting plant I recommend. Here are two more plants that strengthen your immune shield:

Enhance your immunity with astragalus. I’ve used this herb for more than 20 years to help my patients improve their immune systems. There are over 100 scientific studies on astragalus’ effect on immune function.

And the research on astragalus continues to grow… In one study, the immune systems of subjects supplementing with astragalus for three months acted up to 20 years younger.9

I recommend 500 mg of the astragalus extract three times a day.

Boost your body’s defenses with açai. This berry has become all the rage in recent years, and with good reason. It is high in antioxidant compounds like polyphenols and polysaccharides, which have been shown to increase antioxidant ability in the blood and enhance T cell immune response.10

When taken directly, açai boosts the production of interleukin 12 (IL-12) as well as myeloid cells, a type of white blood cells that ensure your immune system is healthy.

Açai berries are available fresh, frozen, or in powder form. Of course, you can also supplement. I suggest taking 5,000 mg daily.


  1. Min-Chul K, et al. “Herpes zoster increases the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction.” J Am Coll Caridol. 2017;70(2):295 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.015
  2. Lamm S, et al. “Persistent response to pneumococcal vaccine in individuals supplemented with a novel water-soluble extract of Uncaria tomentosa, C-Med-100.” Phytomedicine. 2001 Jul;8(4):267-74.
  3. Sheng Y, et al. “Enhanced DNA repair, immune function and reduced toxicity of C-MED-100, a novel aqueous extract from Uncaria tomentosa.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Feb;69(2):115-26.
  4. Seo S. “Tumor necrosis factor alpha exerts powerful anti-influenza virus effects in lung epithelial cells.” J Virol. 2002 Feb; 76(3): 1071–1076.
  5. Mur E, et al. “Randomized double-blind trial of an extract from the pentacyclic alkaloid-chemotype of uncaria tomentosa for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.” J Rheumatol. 2002 Apr;29(4):678-81.
  6. Caon T, et al. “Antimutagenic and antiherpetic activities of different preparations from Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw).” Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Apr;66:30-5 .
  7. Mistrangelo M, et al. “Immunostimulation to reduce recurrence after surgery for anal condyloma acuminata: a prospective randomized controlled trial.” Colorectal Dis. 2010 Aug;12(8):799-803.
  8. Mistrangelo M, et al. “Immunostimulation to reduce recurrence after surgery for anal condyloma acuminata: a prospective randomized controlled trial.” Colorectal Dis. 2010 Aug;12(8):799-803.
  9. Harley, C., Weimin L., et al. “A natural product telomerase activator as part of a health maintenance program.” Rejuv Res. 2010.
  10. Holderness J., et al. “Polysaccharides isolated from Açaí fruit induce innate immune responses.” PLoS One. 2011 Feb 28;6(2):e17301.


by Jim Rickards (editor Strategic Intelligence)

Inflation is often described as a hidden tax on the middle-class and that’s a good description. Politicians know they will get pushback if they try to pass an outright tax increase (although that doesn’t always stop them from trying).

Inflation works along the same lines as a tax increase. It reduces the burden of government debt. The nominal amount of the debt is unchanged by inflation, but the real burden of debt shrinks because the value of the dollar is lower.

At the same time, Americans have to pay more for everything because prices are going up. When Americans pay more and the government reduces debt (in real terms), that’s the same as a tax increase to reduce the deficit – and that’s what inflation does.

The government likes inflation more than tax increases because they don’t have to vote for it; all it takes is negligence by the Fed, bad policy by the administration, and profligacy by Congress. And many Americans don’t quite understand how it works as a tax increase even though they feel the pain of inflation every time they pull up at a gas pump to go to the grocery store.

Still, everything has a cost whether it’s a tax increase or inflation. High inflation causes Americans to spend more on essentials like gasoline and food, so they have less to spend on everything else including restaurants, clothes, travel, entertainment, and household items. Eventually, the demand destruction in those non-essential sectors leads to layoffs, business failures, and ultimately a full-scale recession.

That may be exactly what’s happening in the U.S. economy right now. Technically, the U.S. is in a recession right now, but the decline in GDP has been somewhat mild. That could get a lot worse once the demand destruction from inflation and Fed monetary tightening kicks in.

One development that is keeping the economy going for the time being is described in this article. Americans trying to deal with inflation are using up their credit card lines of credit. That’s a stopgap, but it’s non-sustainable.

Interest on credit card balances can be 20% or higher. Inflation is running around 9% for now. This means the credit card balances will grow faster even than inflation, which will eventually cause Americans to run out of new credit.

That’s when the demand destruction will emerge with a vengeance. Americans will be facing high inflation and high credit card bills. That’s a recipe for complete economic collapse. It’s coming.

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 5 —Part 2: A Weapon of Mass Destruction

Fat Heals—Sugar Kills: Chapter 5: A Weapon of Mass Destruction—Part 2

by Dr. Bruce Fife

Recap of Chapter 5, Part 1: A Weapon of Mass Destruction

Dr. Fife points out that sugar kills but does so slowly. It kills by accelerating the rate of aging and degeneration leading to chronic disease that causes disability and death. The high intake of sugar increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, senility, mental illness, liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, gallstones, arthritis, and dental cavities.

Studies have shown that around 60% of the foods eaten in America are ultra-processed convenience foods. The ultra-processed foods are those that have multiple ingredients and additives. These include flavorings, colorings, sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservatives, and many others. The problem with these ultra-processed foods is that around 30% of the calories come from sugar.

Dr. Fife points out that Vitamin C is just one of the many essential nutrients that is deficient in a diet overloaded with sugar-laden processed foods. He again references the concept of sub-clinical malnutrition, a condition that can remain unnoticed indefinitely.

Dr. Fife discusses the connection between elevated blood levels of homocysteine and heart disease.

Chapter 5: A Weapon of Mass Destruction—Part 2


Dr. Fife points out the difficulties that people had in keeping their weight off after being on a low-fat diet.

Low-fat, calorie restricted diets are doomed to fail because they are based on the erroneous belief that all calories are alike, regardless of their source…this belief tends to single out fat because it contains more than twice as many calories as either carbohydrates or protein.

Fife continues by saying that fat has been targeted as a villain and eating too much fat has been blamed on causing the obesity epidemic. He suggests that this notion is wrong because the percent of fat consumed in our diets has decreased, but obesity has increased.

He points out that overweight people are those that trim off fat from their meat, consume non-fat dairy, etc. Slim people gorge on fatty foods.

Those people that have a history of weight problems are more likely than normal-weight individuals to eat low-fat foods.

My Comments: Overweight people are also those that consume more artificially sweetened beverages using aspartame or sucralose (Splenda) compared to normal weight people. The overweight people also tend to be caught up in the “calorie-counting” squirrel cage and engaged in fad diets.

Low-fat Diet Problem

Continuing: Key point: Most of the fat in your body comes from consumed carbohydrates and NOT fat! If a so-called low-fat diet has less fat, then the calories are replaced with….yes, roll the drums…more carbohydrates! Thus, a low-fat diet is really a high-carb diet. Worse yet, those carbs tend to be sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and refined flours. All low-fat diets are doomed from the start.

Why do these diets fail from the start? The problem is glucose. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose and released into your blood stream. Excess blood glucose levels trigger the release of insulin into your bloodstream.

Insulin not only shuttles glucose into the cells, but it also triggers the conversion of glucose into fat and shuttles fat into the fat cells. Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. The more insulin you have coursing through your veins, the more fat is produced and deposited in your fat cells, and the more weight you gain.

My Comments: Let’s digest what Dr. Fife just said. Excess carbs trigger insulin, and the insulin converts those carbs into fat. You end up buttering your body with excess fat just as if you would slog heaps of butter on your toast.

Nathan Pritikin was partially successful with his low-fat diet regimen because he also eliminated all refined carbohydrates. Unfortunately, he didn’t understand the importance of adequate amounts of healthy fats in one’s diet.


Protein and fat have little to no effect on blood glucose levels. Consequently, fat and protein do not stimulate much of an insulin response and do not promote weight gain.

The “too much carbohydrate problem” is compounded when the carbs are sugars and refined starch. The refined starches are white flour, white rice, etc. Fake “whole wheat” breads are still made from mostly white flour.

Those refined carbs promote insulin resistance. Now your body is programmed to store fat, but it gets worse. The insulin resistance also tells your body not to release stored fat. The excess carbs in your diet not only make you fat, it makes sure you stay fat.

My Comments: I hope you can see the folly of the food industry’s peddling of “diet” foods. This has to be one of the worst frauds perpetrated on the American public. It’s whole foods, real foods, and healthy fats that will help you to maintain a normal body weight, and not ultra-processed garbage from the food industry.

Continuing: Dr. Fife stresses that being overweight isn’t just about your weight or how you look. Being overweight profoundly affects your health.

Nearly 70% of the diagnosed cases of heart disease are related to obesity. The risk of death rises with increasing weight. Even moderate weight excess (10 to 20 pounds for a person of average height) increases the risk of death, particularly among adults between the ages of 30 and 64.

Excess body weight contributes to other risk factors. High blood pressure is twice as common in obese adults compared to those of normal weight. Obesity is associated with elevated fat levels and decreased HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

A weight gain of only 11-18 pounds doubles a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) which are conditions associated with diabetes, increase with weight. Over 80% of the people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.

My Comments: It’s no wonder that we have an epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the US. Forget about Covid; the type 2 diabetes problem is far worse, but it garners little or no headlines.

Even more alarming is that people that have type 2 diabetes are ones that have been affected the most from Covid. The type 2 diabetics fatality rate is far higher, and their symptoms are far worse compared to those that do not have type 2 diabetes.

When you add in other co-morbidity factors such as high blood pressure and heart disease, your immunity is trashed, and your body will be more challenged to fight off disease.

Continuing: Obesity is an independent risk factor for heart disease affecting both men and women.

Obesity is a major health problem, and the primary cause is the overconsumption of sugars and refined starch.


Sugar Doesn’t Make Memories Sweeter

There’s another benefit of reducing your sugar consumption; it’s better memory.

Excess sugar consumption can keep you from remembering what day it is, where you live, or the name of your spouse.

Mr. Comment: One problem I see with Dr. Fife’s text is just what is sugar overconsumption? Many people cut down only to go from horrible to not as bad, but it’s still bad.

There’s virtually unanimous agreement that smoking is really bad for your health. Is cutting down from a two-pack a day habit to one-pack per day an improvement? Yes, it‘s an improvement, but wouldn’t it be much better to totally cease smoking altogether?

For many people, cutting down on sugar consumption is like going from the two-pack per day smoker to a one-pack per day smoker. You’re still an addicted user to sugar as the smoker is addicted to nicotine.

If the cutting down on smoking is a weaning off process that leads to permanent cessation, then that’s an entirely different matter. The same holds true for the sugar addict.

Just one 12 ounce can of soda pop has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is still, way, way too much to break your sugar addiction. Oh, you’ll drink the “diet” stuff instead. Ask yourself, why are overweight people the largest consumers of artificial sweeteners?

My personal experience suggests that the closer you can get your refined carbohydrates (sugar, HFCS, refined flour, rice, etc.) to zero, the better off you will be.

Most reformed alcoholics well know that the best way to stay permanently dry is to do exactly that; they do not consume alcohol, period! They know what can happen with just one drink!

Continuing: Dr. Fife suggests that the overconsumption of sugary food and drinks can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. It is insulin resistance that is the problem. He quotes mice studies that show that sugar-fed mice showed the presence of Alzheimer’s-like plaque deposits whereas the non-sugar-fed mice did not. Additionally, Dr. Fife states that there is evidence linking overconsumption of sugar to Parkinson’s disease.

Insulin Resistance and the Brain

Studies show that people with diabetes have a smaller brain size compared to those that do not have diabetes. This is due to the death of brain cells in diabetics. The brains of people with diabetes age pre-maturely.

One researcher showed that the brains of diabetics are about ten years older compared to non-diabetics. Even pre-diabetics are in danger of developing Alzheimer’s. The common denominator between pre-diabetic, diabetics and Alzheimer’s is insulin resistance.

Insulin levels also play a role in normal brain functioning. Dr. Fife adds that Alzheimer’s is now considered to be type 3 diabetes.

Other neurological disorders such as vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and ALS, also exhibit features suggesting insulin resistance as either an important underlying factor or as a contributing factor to the initiation and progression of these diseases. All of the major neurodegenerative diseases display a marked decline in energy metabolism leading to cell death and loss of brain volume.

Insulin resistance exacerbates the severity of the symptoms and reduces the therapeutic efficacy of drug therapy.

Dr. Fife also notes the connection between ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and insulin resistance. He also mentions that Huntington’s disease, which is primarily inherited, also appears to be influenced by insulin resistance.

Here is what is scaringly sobering:

The changes that take place in the body that lead to diabetes and eventually to neurodegeneration occur long before these diseases become apparent. Glucose metabolism becomes abnormal one to two decades before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed. Neurogenerative diseases may surface another two decades after that.

Eighty percent of your brain tissues may already be damaged before you’re diagnosed! Dr. Fife concludes the section by stating the following:

If you are having memory or cognitive problems or feel that you are losing your mind due to neurodegeneration, you likely have sugar to thank for it.

My Comments: If you are the average American whose food is 60% ultra-processed, you are substantially increasing your chances of having severe cognitive decline later in life. The problem is that the damage may become manifest decades later after years of dietary abuse.

The connection inevitably becomes lost. John Doe at 75 doesn’t realize that his Parkinson’s disease started in his 20s, 30s, and 40s as he consumed his sugary foods and drinks. He liked his junk food, and his doctor didn’t seem to be overly concerned that John was thirty pounds overweight.

When John was diagnosed with pre-diabetes at 65, his doctor, rather than reading John the riot act, put him on metformin. It just ran downhill after that. Later, his doctor added a statin drug and blood pressure meds. Neither the patient nor the doctor had any inkling of the cause and effect of the cascade of events in John’s life.

Next, we’ll continue with Part 3 of this chapter. The lead-off section will be eye health End.