The average American now spends over six hours each day staring (or squinting) at the screen of a laptop, tablet or smartphone – and our eyes are paying the price. Experts say that “dry eye” syndrome – characterized by uncomfortable dryness, burning, itching and eye fatigue – has become common, with a review noting that the condition affects a startling 34 percent of the population.
Western medicine typically will “treat” dry eye syndrome with prescription drugs and commercial eye lubricants, but these tend to offer only short-lived relief, and can feature unwanted side effects. But, now, a brand new clinical study supports the ability of a “superfruit” known as maqui berry to ease dry eye syndrome – naturally and safely!
Keep in mind, dry eye syndrome is more than just a superficial annoyance. It can have a significant impact on your quality of life. For example, several studies show that eye irritation is associated with lower scores on mental health tests. So, let’s focus on a solution.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
While gazing for long periods of time at cell phones, computers, flat-screen TVs and tablets is a primary trigger for dry eye syndrome, other factors can play a role as well. These include air pollution, cigarette smoke, excessive exposure to UV light, air conditioning, contact lenses and medications – particularly antihypertensive drugs and antidepressants.
Sometimes, the cause is related to a medical condition. Allergies and various autoimmune conditions can cause dry eyes, as can vision-correcting and cataract surgeries. And, finally, gender is a factor – with women more likely than men to suffer from dry eye syndrome.
Dry Eye Syndrome Involves a Shortage of Protective Tears
Tears play a vital role in protecting, cleansing, lubricating and nourishing the cornea and the conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyeball and inner eyelids). Not only do natural tears help to rinse away foreign matter and debris, but they have a significant healing effect on tiny scratches and minor injuries to the cornea and conjunctiva.
In addition, tears are antimicrobial – meaning they help protect against eye infections. In fact, tears are actually composed of three different constituents: oil, water and mucus. Normally, between 1 mL and 3 mL of tears are produced daily in each eye.
Problems occur when insufficient amounts of tears are created – or if their water component evaporates too quickly. This can cause the tears to become too concentrated—and, as a result, no longer able to protect the eye.
The result: “dry eye syndrome” and its consequences.
Not only can dry eye syndrome cause discomfort, eye fatigue and sensitivity to light, but it can even lead to visual impairment and damage to the cornea. The solution?
It turns out that increasing the production of healthy, high-quality natural tears is the first, and best, defense against dry eye disease and its consequences. This is where maqui berry comes in.
Maqui Berry Extracts Protect the Eyes and Promote Production of Natural Tears, Study Says
Maqui berries, dark purple fruits native to South America, have impressed scientists with their remarkably potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities.
These little “superfruits” are high in disease-fighting plant pigments known as anthocyanins, which are responsible for the dark indigo hue of blueberries and blackberries. A specific group of anthocyanins in maqui berries, known as delphinidins, have been shown in studies to be particularly beneficial to the eyes. Not only do delphinidins scavenge harmful free radicals, but they reduce damage from light stimulation.
Studies have shown that delphinidins can protect the lacrimal glands that produce water for tears – thereby boosting the production of high-quality, effective tears. Excitingly, there are many studies that confirm these promising results.
In one 2014 study, participants with dry eye symptom took either 30 mg or 60 mg of maqui berry extract daily for 60 days. After 30 days, both groups had a 50 percent improvement in tear production!
That’s not all.
The most compelling finding had to do with improved quality of life. And, this was where the higher dosage of maqui berry extract really shone. The team found that patients taking 60 mg of the extract for two months experienced an impressive 72 percent improvement in “dry eye-induced” quality of life symptoms – with no adverse effects reported.
New Clinical Study: Maqui Berry Extracts Provide Rapid, Safe and Long-Lasting Relief From Dry Eyes
In a Japanese study published in 2019 in Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, researchers divided a group of 74 patients with moderate dry eye syndrome into two sections. One group received 60 mg of maqui berry extract a day for four weeks, while the other received a placebo.
The results were clear-cut – and conclusive: The maqui berry group enjoyed reductions in eye dryness and eye fatigue, along with improved quality of life.
In addition, the maqui berry group had substantially higher production of tear fluid – as determined by the Schirmer’s test, an acknowledged measurement of tear formation. In addition, the maqui berry group even experienced more pronounced reductions in shoulder stiffness, when compared to the placebo group.
The study was randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blind – meaning it was conducted under the most rigorous of scientific standards. And, it left little doubt that maqui berry extracts could safely address dry eye syndrome.
Versatile Maqui Berries Confer a Host of Health Benefits
The protective effects of maqui berries don’t stop at the eyes. By reducing the oxidative damage and inflammation that lie at the root of degenerative chronic diseases, maqui berry extracts can help protect against cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and arthritis.
They have been found to be strongly associated with reduced risk of heart attack – and may even lower harmful LDL cholesterol. And, with a small but significant effect on lowering blood sugar levels, maqui berries may help slow the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.
Maqui berry extracts are commercially available in tablets, capsules and powders. Natural health experts typically recommend dosages in amounts ranging from 60 mg to 450 mg a day – but check first with your trusted integrative doctor before supplementing.
Bottom line: the disease-fighting, highly antioxidant maqui berry can promote production of natural tears, thereby helping to protect our eyes from the daily strain of high-intensity peering at screens. Surely, our hard-working eyes will appreciate the help from this natural ally.
Republished from NaturalHealth365