See Clearer Tomorrow: How a Spoonful of Coconut Oil Might Save Your Sight from Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration (MD) is a leading cause of blindness in people over 50, particularly women. It starts with blurry vision and progresses to an ever-growing blind spot in the middle of your vision. Having macular degeneration can steal the independence and sense of adventure many seniors look forward to in their retirement years.

Coconut oil, once thought to be bad for you because it contains saturated fats, has been proven to have multiple health benefits, including helping control weight, healing infections, and managing prostate enlargement and cognitive impairment. So, would it be surprising to learn that coconut oil might play a role in protecting against MD?

Two types of MD, two treatments

Most cases of MD (about 80 to 90 percent) are what’s known as dry macular degeneration. Small deposits form on the retina, causing it to deteriorate. The other kind, wet macular degeneration, accounts for only 10 to 15 percent of cases. Unfortunately, though, about 90 percent of severe vision loss cases happen in patients with this type of MD.

In wet MD, abnormal blood vessels under the retina begin to grow toward the macula (the center of the retina). These blood vessels then break, bleed, and leak fluid, resulting in rapid and severe vision loss. Right now, the only treatment for wet MD is an injection of an anti-angiogenic drug directly into the eye.

Angiogenesis refers to the growth of new blood vessels. The term is usually used in relation to tumors, but this process is also what “feeds” wet MD. That’s why drugs that slow or stop this process are the treatment of choice.

Fortunately, there may soon be an alternative that doesn’t require taking a needle to the eye…

How coconut oil protects eyesight

Recently, two researchers at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria demonstrated the power of coconut oil to control the type of eye damage seen in macular degeneration. The researchers subjected several groups of rats to 5000 lux of white light for two hours a day for a period of three weeks (for perspective, a standard flashlight produces 125 lux of white light).

Rats that were subjected to this light while being fed the highest doses of virgin coconut oil showed the least retinal nerve damage. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, which aid in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNFs).

BDNFs are naturally occurring proteins that are always circulating in our system to some degree. But people with macular degeneration have a deficiency in BDNFs. So, there is a reason to believe that, among all its other health benefits, coconut oil can help raise the levels of this protective protein to slow or even prevent macular degeneration.

Why you need more coconut oil

In case you still have any doubts about the power of coconut oil, here is a partial list of conditions for which it’s been shown to have a beneficial effect:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Obesity
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Wound infections
  • High cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ulcers
  • Low thyroid function
  • Indigestion

Fortunately, it’s easy to add coconut oil to your diet. Here are a few ideas:

  • Replace other cooking oils with a tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Add it to smoothies
  • Replace butter with coconut oil for baking
  • Add some to oatmeal

In conclusion, coconut oil is an ingredient that is not only tasty but also offers numerous health benefits. Whether you are trying to enhance your brain function, improve your weight management, or protect your eyes from macular degeneration, including this versatile oil in your daily diet can make a significant difference.