Healthy Living
 
Insight into Eyesight:Dr. Liou Teng-Chieh on the Power of a Plant-strong Diet      
Hallo, energetic viewers, and welcome to Healthy Living. Good eye health is an important aspect of overall bodily well-being. Thus, mothers around the world often have their children eat carrots and other sources of beta carotene (vitamin A) to improve their vision. Many studies support such practices.

For example, a 2010 report in the Journal of Food Science, states that consuming the oxygenated carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in green, leafy vegetables and colored fruits and vegetables, promote eye health.

Moreover, according to a study conducted at the University of Oxford in the UK, vegetarians and vegans are 30 to 40% less likely to develop cataracts than are frequent meat eaters.

Today, we’ll visit with Dr. Liou Teng-Chieh, Director of Ophthalmology at Puli Veterans Hospital in Formosa (Taiwan), who has practiced ophthalmology for several decades, specializing in phacoemulsification, retina and glaucoma laser surgery and eye plastic surgery. From his clinical experience, Dr. Liou has discovered that adopting a vegan diet helps patients improve their overall health and prevent eye disease.

In this photo is a patient in our hospital, Miss Huang. She is not even 30 years old. She said she drank milk at breakfast almost every day. Together with milk or milk tea, she normally had eggs, sandwiches, or other food containing high animal protein and carbohydrates. In addition to the breakfasts with heavy dairy products, she also liked to eat meat.

She first came to my clinic because of blurred eyesight. Upon investigation, I found that she had more problems including many symptoms related to allergy, such as itchy eyes, chronic rhinitis, and sleeping problems. Besides she also suffered from gastro-enteric symptoms such as flatulence and constipation.

With more detailed questions, I learned that her diet was mainly composed of animal protein, especially milk. She consumed milk or dairy products almost every day. With physical examination, I found that the veins in her eyes were different from ordinary people; her veins were twisted, which should not happen to people at such a young age.

It probably started early this year when I found that my vision was blurred, as if it was covered by a veil. When I looked at something for a long time, double overlapping images would appear. The doctor found that it was due to angulated veins under the retina, so he recommended me to go to the Taichung Veteran’s General Hospital for a more precise diagnosis. He couldn’t clearly identify the cause. He just said my case needed further observation.

When I came back and talked to the chief doctor about this problem, he asked me about my diet, including breakfast and lunch. Then he suggested that I quit drinking milk. Initially, I didn’t think drinking milk could affect my eyesight, so I didn’t care much about his advice. I just drank milk less frequently. However, I was still distressed by my persistent eye problem. So, one day I decided to switch to drinking soy milk for a change.

I switched to soy milk for about a month, and the improvement was very obvious. When I went to work and looked at the computer monitor, my vision was not diffused or fogged like it used to be. My eyesight became quite normal.

Noticing the improvements, I gradually made changes in my diet. Previously I was inclined to eating more meat and less vegetables and fruits. Gradually, I reduced my meat intake and increased that of vegetables and fruits. Then the improvement was even more obvious than before. Now, almost 80 to 90% of my eye problem has been solved.

I recommended her to change her diet by minimizing the consumption of milk, eggs, and meat as much as possible. Subsequently, all her clinical symptoms, including blurred vision, insomnia, and metabolism problems that she mentioned, were significantly improved after she substantially reduced animal protein in her diet.

Not only does a meat diet cause an increase in eye disease, but milk products are also among the major causes of cataracts. Milk sugar or lactose is broken down in the body into another sugar, galactose, which is capable of damaging the lenses of the eyes, leading to cataracts. Many respected physicians and nutrition researchers like Dr. T. Colin Campbell, advise patients to abandon milk products in order to improve their condition.

From my clinical experiences in ophthalmology, I found that many patients, including adults and children, have had lots of problems caused by high consumption of dairy products. The problems include allergic conjunctivitis and allergic dermatitis on eyelids, which is chronic inflammation of the eyelids.

There are also problems not related to ophthalmology. These include rhinitis and sinusitis, dermatitis, and even asthma. Actually, we have seen a lot of these cases in our clinic. For those who changed their diet by reducing their intake of animal and dairy products to the minimum, they really achieved very obvious improvements. These are the health benefits that we observed from our clinical patients thanks to their dietary changes.

The next case is about a 29-year-old female, who is one of my colleagues in the hospital. She also had milk or cheese with western bread at breakfast all the time. She was a bit overweight. She came to consult me because of itchy eyes. You see, this is her conjunctive (tissue), and on it you can see dots of nidi, which indicates that she had allergic conjunctivitis. In addition to itchy eyes and conjunctivitis, she also suffered from rhinitis. In fact, she also had gastro-enteric symptoms such as flatulence, diarrhea, and irregular stools.

In fact, many of us Asian people cannot consume milk, because we have less lactase in our alimentary canal. There is very little lactase inside to digest the lactose. Therefore, many of us Asian people have this problem when drinking milk. We cannot digest the lactose, which leads to flatulence and diarrhea. The protein contained in milk will also cause allergy symptoms in our body, such as itchy eyes and rhinitis.

If milk causes eye diseases in adults, what health conditions does it cause in kids?

Besides, in our clinic, we often see parents giving milk to their children, thinking that it is necessary for the children to absorb sufficient nutrition such as calcium, at childhood, so that they could grow faster. Actually, in clinical studies, we found that children who consume more milk and animal protein are prone to lots of problems.

One example is a 14-year-old kid who always drank milk at breakfast. The prolonged consumption of milk caused a lot of problems in this kid, such as atopic dermatitis, rhinitis, and sinusitis. He always had a blocked nose, itchy eyes, and conjunctivitis. Besides, this kid also had a problem of being overweight due to the consumption of milk. Later, I communicated to his parents, advising them to stop giving this kind of food to their child, because it was the cause of his skin, nose, and eye problems.

Cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, blindness and other serious conditions are often associated with diabetes. The vegan diet emphasizes foods low in fat, high in carbohydrates and fiber, and rich in vitamins, and can thus reduce blood glucose levels and the risk of acquiring various eye diseases.

I have hereditary diabetes. Previously, I didn’t know how to control my diet. I just ate as much as I wanted, without any constraint. One night, when I woke up, I only saw the pitch darkness before my eyes.

A man around 55 of age. He used to suffer from diabetes, which led to a retinal lesion and massive hemorrhage. I gave him lots of necessary care at the hospital, including standard laser treatment used in ophthalmology. However, at that time, this patient had very little improvement after receiving repeated laser treatments. Later, I had to transfer him to a bigger hospital for further surgery. The patient was still unsuccessful in recovering completely.

At the follow-up check, Doctor Liou told me that my illness was caused by my diet. He kindly taught me to control my diet, switch to a plant-based diet, and refrain from eating meat, so that my health would improve.

Eventually, he made some changes to his diet. He changed his diet to an almost vegetarian one and his vegetarian diet is extremely healthy, which means he doesn’t eat finely processed food. For rice, he mainly ate brown rice or five-grain rice. For vegetables, he only ate blanched vegetables. So his diet was extremely healthy. He said he only ate food, not food products. Through such a diet, he achieved astonishing improvements with his eye problem.

Originally, his condition remained stagnant. As the blood vessels in his eyes were damaged, lots of irregular blood vessels appeared on his retina. As you can see in this one, there is lots of blood on his retina. After clearing them through surgery, there had been recurrences of hemorrhage.

Originally, after the surgery, there was still some minor hemorrhaging, and some tiny dark spots in my eyes that followed my vision all day long. However, three months after adopting the plant-based diet, those dark spots vanished and my vision also became clearer.

After he changed his diet, I have followed his case for three to four years, and the symptoms on his retina have subsided. The recurrent hemorrhages have stopped. You see, his retina is now very clear. The picture above shows the traces of previous laser treatments. They are all over the retina. Now you can see that the hemorrhage is gone and the retina is very clear.

Upon returning to the hospital for a follow-up check, Doctor Liou told me that the interior of my eyes were dry, not moist anymore, because the moisture indicates there is hemorrhage. So, my condition was good. Since then my vision is not blurred anymore and I can see clearly.

His physical condition as a whole has also improved greatly, until now. This is a very impressive case in my clinical records. It shows that a change of diet can make a huge difference. Apart from improvement to his eyes, his overall health is also under very good control, including blood pressure and blood sugar. This illustrates that our diet has a big impact on our body organs.

By adopting the plant-based diet, we are doing a small favor to the Earth, but a very big favor to ourselves.

Many people wish to have good eyesight. Why not start today and let the nutritious, organic plant-based diet help you to easily attain eye health and avoid unnecessary eye issues? We sincerely thank you, Dr. Liou Teng-Chieh for sharing your years of clinical experience with our viewers and being a model vegan. May your noble work continue to bring the gift of clear vision to the people of Formosa (Taiwan).

Be Veg,
Go Green
2 Save the Planet!

Be Veg,
Go Green
2 Save the Planet!

For more information on Dr. Liou Teng-Chieh, please visit www.Pulivh.gov.tw

Energetic viewers, thank you for watching today's Healthy Living. May our planet have an infinitely bright future.

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