Rescue Mission: Out Of Options, Patient Reaches For Nutraceutical To Save His Sight

North Chicago, ILL (Oct. 1, 2018) – The young male patient was out of options. His eyes were being taken care of at one of the most prestigious centers in the world in Miami, Florida. With non-functional vision from birth (20/800 vision on the lettered vision test chart) in his right eye and progressive accumulation of troubling yellow cholesterol-like deposits called drusen in his left eye, he began taking a National Eye Institute-recommended antioxidant supplement in 2001 (AREDS Formula), later augmented with fish oil and coenzyme Q10.

The drusen-free area of his retina broadened a bit but by 2009 but his eye doctor wrote in his medical record “frightening central vision distortion” in his left eye. Straight lines looked wavy and irregular. These worrisome visual distortions moved around on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. A young man with functional vision in only one eye was slowly losing his remaining sight and there was nothing that could be done about it.

With no proven treatment available, the patient began taking a statin cholesterol-lowering drug in 2012 with marked broadening of the drusen-free area of his retina, but the ominous visual distortions remained.

The sobering thought of losing his remaining sight caused the patient to embark on a weight loss program. He lost 51 pounds between 2013 and 2015. In 2013 he also added a self-prescribed nutraceutical (Longevinex®) to his daily pill regimen, eventually abandoning the statin drug. That is when the visual distortion vanished. Retinal photographic images confirm the thickness and shape of his retina had normalized. The drusen-free area of his retina and almost doubled (from 5074 pixels to 9064 pixels).

About 95% of adults exhibit drusen deposits in their retinas over their lifetime (British Journal Ophthalmology, March 1999), but certainly not as dense and profuse as seen in this young male patient. In about 20-30% eyes with drusen deposits in one eye can be seen in both eyes over a 5-year period. (British Journal Ophthalmology Jan 2017)

Statin drugs have been proposed to address drusen deposits in human eyes and were shown to be modestly successful in a pilot study with 10 of 23 patients experiencing regression of drusen with up to 18 months of use. (EbioMedicine March 2016)

Resveratrol, a primary active component in Longevinex®, has only recently been proposed as a drusen-clearing agent. (PLoS One March 7, 2016] In this case, Longevinex® appeared to exert a more rapid and demonstrable improvement in vision than statin drugs.

Resveratrol, known as a red wine molecule, is a molecular mimic of a calorie-restricted diet. However, monkeys fed a 30% reduced calorie diet did not exhibit fewer retinal drusen. (Open Longevity Science 2009)

Longevinex® has been shown to be more powerful biologically than plain resveratrol, activating 6-fold more longevity genes and inhibiting a gene that triggers abnormal growth of blood vessels 9-fold better than plain resveratrol. (Experimental Gerontology 2008; PLoS One 2010] And resveratrol as provided in a micronized, microencapsulated form (Longevinex®) was detected in the human retina, meaning it traverses the blood brain barrier. This is the reason why it was selected for scientific study for eye health in our eye clinic. The use of other resveratrol pills may not produce the same result. The patient’s vision in his only functional eye remains stable at 20/20 on the eye chart over the past two years.

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Dr. Richer has no financial interest in Longevinex®.

Retinal Image in 2010

Retinal image with massive profuse drusen deposits; December 2010


Retinal Image in 2014

Clearance of retinal drusen in the optical center of the eye accompanied by weight loss and use of nutraceutical (Longevinex®); June 2014


Side view image of retina showing thickened layers due to drusen deposits; January 2011


Side View of retina in 2014

Normalization of the retinal architecture and disappearance of drusen with weight loss and Longevinex® nutraceutical; November 2014