• Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO, focuses his blog on practice pearls, technology and new research in the nutrition arena. Dr. Anshel is the founder of Corporate Vision Consulting, president of the Ocular Nutrition Society and a member of the Primary Care Optometry News Editorial Board.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Adequate zinc levels are important to overall health

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

There has been some recent controversy about supplementing with zinc and age-related macular degeneration.

The original Age-Related Eye Disease Study formula used 80 mg of zinc oxide, and a reduction in progression from stage 3 to stage 4 AMD was seen.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Butter in your coffee?

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

If you’ve ever attended any of my lectures, you know that I come down hard on coffee for several reasons. However, if you listened carefully you heard that there are benefits to coffee – in limited quantities and under the right circumstances. Typically, I recommend decaf coffee with no cream or sugar.

Recently, however, there is a new trend starting up and it’s got some appeal. I still recommend the decaf version (we get enough caffeine from other foods), but instead of the typical sugar and cream, many people are adding butter!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Does fish oil cause prostate cancer?

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

I received a comment on my last blog regarding the study linking omega-3 fish oil and prostate cancer. There have been several responses to this published study, and I think this warrants yet another review.

The original Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) was intended to determine the effects of vitamin E, alone or with selenium, on prostate cancer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Many clinicians still unaware of nutrition's role in eye health

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

At a recent meeting, Jeffrey Anshel and colleagues discussed the role of nutrition for ophthalmologists. While the Ocular Nutrition Society (ONS) encourages membership to all eye care providers, he has found that many ophthalmologists are unaware of the true role of nutrition in eye health.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

'Visual acuity checkers'

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

Blogger Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO, shares an experience where he overheard someone in an airport misrepresenting the practice of optometry to a friend over the telephone. He urges readers to explain the range of their skills to their patients.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nutrition education primer

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

The other day I received an email from someone who attended one of my recent lectures on contact lenses and nutrition. This person appreciated the talk and thought it was very informative. He did have one question, however: “How do we get the wealth of information that you know on ocular nutrition and just what is good and not good for our bodies and our eyes?”

While that was a great question, he followed it up with this caveat: “Joining the Ocular Nutrition Society looks like I only get minimal education on this subject.” Ouch!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nutrition society to host spring symposium

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

The Ocular Nutrition Society will host a continuing education conference in conjunction with Vision Expo East in New York next week. The March 30 symposium will feature six nutrition experts and offer 6 COPE credits. Johanna Seddon, MD, director of the ophthalmic epidemiology and genetics service at New England Eye Center, will discuss the role of nutrition and gene expression in eye disease. Randy Hammond, PhD, a professor of brain and behavioral sciences at the University of Georgia, w...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

CRN weighs in on vitamin supplements and heart disease, cancer

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a final report at the end of February, Vitamin, Mineral and Multivitamin Supplements for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer, which concluded that evidence is insufficient to recommend the use of vitamin supplements as primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. This final report was a follow-up to a draft report issued in December 2013 that resulted in a flurry of media on the negative “results” on...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sweet is not so sweet

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

As today is Valentine’s Day, the thoughts of “sweet for my sweet” came rushing forth, as it does for everyone in love. However, for many years, I remember hearing that sugar is pro-inflammatory. That has been a mantra running through my head every time I ate something that was obviously loaded with sugar. And several months ago, I spoke with Robert Lustig, MD, (of “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”) when he discussed how sugar “feeds” cancer cells, which was al...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Watch out for palm fruit oil

Jeffrey Anshel, OD, FAAO

The use of palm oil has skyrocketed in recent years and it is the most heavily utilized vegetable oil. It is used in about half of all packaged foods and personal care and cleaning products in developed markets.

Palm oil of any kind, whether it comes from the fruit or kernel, is not beneficial to human health. Palm fruit oil or palm kernel oils are not healthy, and most of the health risks are associated with the processing, of which very few have been informed.