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Glaucoma: Natural Medicine Factors   Nutrition in Glaucoma The first step in developing a good balanced foundation for your nutritional program is to begin with a broad spectrum multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. A multiple to be used by someone with glaucoma should have both vitamin A and beta carotene according to some doctors. Rapid and sustained pressure reductions of 5 to 7 mm Hg have been achieved in studies using improved diet with supplementation of nutrients including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, and calcium, which is better than results achieved with current medical therapy. , Malnutrition and malabsorption syndromes should also be ruled out or treated, as they may contribute to optic nerve damage and susceptibility. Glaucoma in a malnourished population was brought under control within one week with the antioxidants 180,000 I.U./day of vitamin A, 200 I.U./day of vitamin E and 3,000 mg/day of vitamin C.  Vitamin A and carotenoids: Vitamin A deficiency has been observed in the glaucoma population. Blood levels of carotenoids (pro-vitamin A) are lower in people with glaucoma than in normals. Vitamin A is necessary to prevent hydration and swelling of the collagen in the drainage angle of the eye, which can block outflow. Loss of xanthophyll carotenoids in the papillo-macular area is the first detectable indication of loss of optic nerve fibers in glaucoma. Some practitioners recommend 25,000 IU/day of natural source beta carotene or a combination of vitamin A and beta carotene (pro-vitamin A) along with 400 IU/day of either dry or mixed tocopherol vitamin E. Beta carotene dosages up to 30 mg/day have been suggested as safe by the Alliance for Aging Research. Others recommend up to 40,000 IU/day of beta carotene.  Vitamin B Complex: The entire B complex, with specific emphasis on vitamins B1, B3, B5 B6, B12, folate, inositol and choline (or lecithin, as a source of choline) may be particularly helpful in glaucoma. A 50 mg B complex taken 3 times a day with meals is a good base, and in some cases B vitamin injections (preferably unpreserved) may be needed.  B1: Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency causes optic nerve disease and is depleted by stress. Optic atrophy linked to thiamine deficiency can be reversed in 10 days with large supplemental doses. Thiamine may be poorly absorbed and metabolized, or otherwise demanded at increased levels in glaucoma patients, as they usually have reduced blood levels despite normal dietary intake. This has been associated with lack of digestive enzymes resulting in malabsorption. A dosage of 25 to 50 mg a day has been recommended, except for smokers who should take 300 mg/day until vision improves.  B3: Vitamin B3 cleans out the capillaries, reversing the effects of arteriosclerosis that contributes to glaucoma. B3 also dilates the capillaries, further improving blood flow to and from the eye and optic nerve. B3 raises ATP levels in depleted cells, raising their resistance to stressors like glutamate, which is associated with glaucoma. B5: Vitamin B5 (100 mg taken 3 times a day) helps to strengthen…