Flax oil and Hemp Oil Beneficial or Harmful

by Marie
(Denver, Pa)

Is flax oil and/or hemp oil beneficial or harmful if you have wet AMD. I am finding contrary information on the net. Thank you.


Hi Marie,

That is a good question. Even though many natural foods and oils, such as flax oil do provide some benefits, that are also precautions that need to be taken.

Interactions with prescription and over the counter medications is one of the concerns with even natural oils and supplements.

For instance, flax oil can enhance the effects of blood thinners.

This question would best be answered by your physician who is aware of all and any other medications that you may be taking.

This is why it is important to always disclose to your doctor any natural supplements that you are taking along with any over the counter medications and prescription drugs.

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Apr 17, 2015
Great Comments
by: Sarah D. West

Great post, just what i was looking for and i am looking forward to reading your other posts soon!

Sep 22, 2010
Flax Oil and Hemp Oil
by: Michael Edson, MS,L.Ac.

Flax Seed Oil contains alpha linolenic acid ( a precursor to omega-3 fatty acid), B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, fiber, protein, and zinc, and according to studies has many health benefits.

Hemp oil contains the important essential fatty acids and amino acids, which also support health
in a number of ways. We have not read any studies indicating these oils would have any negative health effects on the eyes. In fact, the research indicates they can help preserve healthy vision and circulation.

General precautions about Flax Seed Oil are listed at


The bigger issue is to make sure that the oils are fresh and produced by a reputable company that cold presses the oils, and packages them In ways to prevent heat and sunlight from spoiling them.

For those with macular degeneration (as well as the rest of the general population over 50), we recommend high quality fish oil daily as they
contain EPA and DHA (the retina contains high concentrations of DHA).

The omega-3 fatty acid in flax seed has to go through two conversions in the body to turn into EPA and DHA, making it less efficient particularly for helping macular degeneration.

Take care,

Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac.

Natural Eye Care


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Flax Oil and Macular Degeneration

by Randee
(United States)

I just read that Alpha-linolenic Acid from foods like Flax seeds and walnuts can increase your chances of getting Macular Degeneration. Is this information true?

I do eat a lot of chia seeds that is higher in ALA than Flax seeds. I do love them and I Know they are good for other things like they are high in calcium.

Even if it does not help your eyes like fish and fish oils, could it make your risk of getting MD higher?

Any information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Randee,

A similar question was asked by another reader. Here is the response from Michael Edson, MS,L.Ac.

Flax Oil and Macular Degeneration

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Nightshade Vegetables and Macular Degeneration

by Frances
(United States)

I have dry macular degeneration.

Recently I read you cannot eat eggplant and tomatoes and some other veggies, but since my strokes I cannot remember anything.

What I am asking is, is this true.


Hi Frances,

Jessica K. Black, N.D. writes in her book The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book: Protect Yourself and Your Family from Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies - and More a list of foods to avoid if one wants to practice an anti-inflammatory diet - and tomatoes are on the list.

Although she doesn't list eggplant, she does write, "Many of these foods can contribute directly to inflammation. For example tomatoes which...which are part of the nightshade vegetables are known to cause inflammation."

Eggplant is part of the nightshade vegetables as well. Jack Challem the author of The Inflammation Syndrome: Your Nutrition Plan for Great Health, Weight Loss, and Pain-Free Living states that many people are sensitive to nightshade vegetables and should avoid them.

Hope that helps.

Kind Regards,


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Caffeinated Coffee and Eyes

by Betty
(Philadelphia, PA)

Would one or two cups of caffeinated coffee be okay to have if you have dry macular degeneration?

Betty, I too enjoy my morning cup of coffee and wonder as well if it is the best thing for our eyes.

There is a landmark study called the Beaver Dam Study. It is what is called a prospective cohort study conducted from 1988 to 1995 with an average follow-up of 4.8 years. Without giving all the details here, the results were and I quote:

"Coffee and caffeine consumption were not associated with the 5-year incidence of early age-related maculopathy, soft indistinct drusen, or pigmentary abnormalities."

However, could we be drinking something that is better for our eyes? Absolutely. The two drinks I am starting to substitute for my morning coffee is green tea and bilberry tea.

If you'd like to learn more about how these teas can actually benefit your eyes click here:

Green Tea Antioxidants

Bilberry Tea

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Nov 05, 2009
Green tea and Coffee
by: Anonymous

Wouldn't the caffeine in green tea be harmful to the eyes.

Decaffeinated tea is not a healthy substitute because of the unhealthy chemicals used in the decaffeinating process.

Sep 28, 2009
Coffee or Tea?
by: by: Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac.

There is conflicting information in studies regarding coffee drinking and long-term effects on blood pressure as well as introcular pressure related to glaucoma.

Since research shows that nutritional deficiencies in the retina is a major factor in macular degeneration, anything that effects nutrition availability in the body should be avoided. For example, coffee is a diuretic, causing the Kidneys to release nutrients into the urine more quickly. Some of these nutrients would have otherwise been recycled into the body.

Excessive coffee use over time can also effect the adrenal glands, as coffee artificially causes the adrenals to produce sympathetic stimulating hormones. Over time this can cause adrenal exhaustion (particularly if combined with poor lifestyle habits and/or chronic stress). Adrenal exhaustion would lessen the body's ability to delivery nutrients to the smaller blood vessels throughout the body, of which there are many that feed the eyes.

Coffee can also cause rebound effects on small blood vessels, meaning that coffee causes blood vessels to dilate allowing greater blood flow (which is why coffee can be helpful for migraines). But once the effects of the coffee wear off, there can be somewhat of a rebound effect where the blood vessels constrict, again affecting the consistent delivery of blood, oxygen and nutrient delivery to the eyes.

In Chinese medicine, excessive coffee drinking can delete the body of Jing which is essential core energy (eventually resulting in adrenal exhaustion), as well as cause excessive heat in the body, possibly resulting in such symptoms as insomnia and glaucoma.

In general, I think small amounts of coffee are probably fine (maybe a half a cup a day). I would prefer people with macular degeneration instead drink green tea which contains high amounts of antioxidants and has been shown in studies to lower the risk of heart disease.

Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac.

For More information on natural eye care go to:

Vision Health Treatment Options & Nutrient Recommendations

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