Dry eye (Flax seed or Fish oil)?

Discussion in 'Eye-Care' started by Mark, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Mark

    Mark Guest

    Which is best health supplement to help alleviate dry eyes: Flax seed
    oil or Fish oils?
    Mark, Nov 4, 2003
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  2. Mark

    Ragnar Suomi Guest

    I'm don't know, but the fish oil capsules do give you a mild fishy
    taste in your mouth when you burp.

    Try Systane drops. They are available over the counter.
    Ragnar Suomi, Nov 4, 2003
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  3. What dose do the docs here recommend for flaxseed oil, either in
    gelcaps or in liquid form? I'm curious to see if there is any
    consensus on this point.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 4, 2003
  4. Evening Primrose or Borage worked best for me. That's for GLA.

    Fish oil and flaxseed tended to clog my oil glands.


    Mike \(Remove X's to reply\), Nov 5, 2003
  5. Oh, shoot!!! I forgot to knock on wood! <<<knocks on wood>>


    Mike \(Remove X's to reply\), Nov 5, 2003
  6. Mark

    Mark Guest

    Thanks for that. I did some searching and I think the general consensus
    is that fish is better than flax. From what I can gather, the fish oils
    contain the important EPA & DHA ingredients whereas the flax oil
    contains ALA which first has to be broken down by the body (which it is
    not very good at) before it can produce the EPA & DHA.
    Mark, Nov 5, 2003
  7. Mark

    Eric Solomon Guest

    Significant Lasting Relief from Dry Eyes :

    A breakthrough new product from Cape Town, South Africa, home of the world's
    first successful human heart transplant, is now available to Dry Eye
    sufferers worldwide. The product, called Dry Eye Caps, uses a highly
    logical, systemic approach to offer the most consistent, significant,
    lasting relief from the painful and debilitating effects of Dry Eyes.

    Instead of treating the problem symptomatically and temporarily, the way
    artificial tears or eye drops do, this product treats it systemically, in a
    far more consistent and long-lasting way. Dry Eye Caps works from the inside
    to remedy the primary sources of painful Dry Eye symptoms.

    Taken orally in capsule form, Dry Eye Caps has been developed by a leading
    SA pharmacist (who is herself a Dry Eyes sufferer), in association with
    leading ophthalmologists, as a unique, highly effective nutritional

    It is used to improve the production of tears and the stability of the
    aqueous tear film, regardless of the actual cause of the Dry Eyes. Whether
    the cause was complications of Lasik or other refractive surgery, contact
    lens usage, air conditioning, staring at computer screens, flying,
    allergies, environmental conditions or certain medications, Dry Eye Caps
    offers virtually universal relief.

    Dry Eye conditions include red, itchy, scratchy, burning eyes and a
    sensitivity to light. Dry Eye Caps contains an approved, proprietary herbal
    extract that increases the secretion of tears. The extract acts as a
    mucolytic by interfering with and inhibiting the production of acid
    mucopolysaccharide fibres, which cause a decrease in viscosity of mucous and

    Dry Eye Caps also contains Flaxseed Oil, which is a rich source of Omega 3,
    6 and 9 essential fatty acids. It directly affects and stimulates the
    production of oil by the tear glands. Glands in the eye manufacture lipids
    or oils, which stabilise the tear film.

    Another important ingredient of Dry Eye Caps is Lecithin, a fat-like
    substance called a phospholipid. It is required by every cell in the body
    and is a key building block of cell membranes; without it, they would

    Now made from vegetable gelatine instead of animal gelatine, Dry Eye Caps
    are halaal and suitable for vegetarians and diabetics, when used as part of
    a balanced eating plan. They are also gluten free, salt free and yeast free.

    The usual dosage is two capsules daily - one capsule taken orally with
    breakfast, and another taken with the evening meal. However, after a few
    months of using Dry Eye Caps consistently, many patients have found they can
    maintain significant relief from symptoms with only one capsule per day. Of
    course this varies from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the

    In most cases, patients begin to feel the full effects of the Dry Eye
    Caps --
    that is, the full relief from the painful Dry Eye symptoms -- within ten to
    fourteen days of starting the course, and on an ongoing basis thereafter. In
    very severe cases, it may take a few weeks for the full effects to be felt.

    Once a patient embarks on the course of Dry Eye Caps, all other forms of
    treatment, especially drops, should be stopped. Drops would simply wash away
    the new beneficial tears being generated by Dry Eye Caps. It is perhaps the
    most cost-effective and affordable Dry Eye remedy available anywhere.

    If anyone is interested in finding out more information about Dry Eye Caps,
    you can do so at:

    Or you may email me directly at my email address below.

    Kind regards to you all
    Eric Solomon

    For your interest, here are some extracts (with her permission)
    from emails I received from a lady in the UK who has been
    using the Dry Eye Caps for one month now:

    On 1/10/03 11:35 pm, June Fraser wrote:

    Hi Eric , Good news the Capsules have arrived at last so today is day 1. I'm
    going to keep a diary to monitor progress. The weather has really turned in
    England today and is cool and windy and wet - the worse sort of conditions
    for my dry eye. I don't venture out without sunglasses in this weather. My
    eye is niggling today so here goes! Will be in touch Regards June

    On 4/10/03 5:57 pm, June Fraser wrote:

    Hi Eric, Thought it was time to let you know how I'm getting on with your
    capsules. Today is day 14 and I have taken them every day and used no
    eyedrops at all. I feel they are working, my eyes do feel much better, I
    can't believe it! I have 3 triggers for my dry eye - cigarette smoke, cold
    wind and the computer for long periods of time. Well I have had all those
    factors this week but no attack. Last Sunday in the cold my eye did water a
    bit and usually I would then suffer for several days but this occasion as
    soon as I went in the eye stopped watering. Also, is it my imagination but I
    feel I can see better. When I have an attack I suffer blurred vision for
    some time, I visited my optician this week and he felt there was an
    improvement but I hadn't told him I was on anything different. It has been
    strange not to use drops - I've been using them for 5 years- the first week
    I kept feeling as if I ought to use them but now I don't. A few questions
    for you - do I now take these forever, I keep expecting the symptoms to
    return at any moment. When you have suffered as long as I have it's a big
    thing to get my head around that something has actually helped! Are there
    any side effects at all? I have tried Flaxseed oil before but not much help
    so there is obviously something different here? I'm not going to start
    shouting to the world yet that this is working because I still can't believe
    it is. Next weeks forecast is very cold for London and possible snow
    showers, if anything is going to trigger it that will. If after a month I
    am still improved then I will post on the Dry Eye Site where I saw your
    message. I don't want to raise hopes until I am 100 per cent sure but I am
    taking NOTHING else at all which proves to me it is this that has made a
    difference. I can see the importance of what you said about NO eyedrops.
    Sincere thanks for your help, I will be putting in another order.
    Will e-mail you again to tell you progress. Regards from June in London

    On 31/10/03 5:57 pm, June Fraser wrote
    Hi Eric, Thought it was time to give you an update on my progress with your
    capsules. They really work!!!! I cannot believe it but I've been taking them
    for one month tomorrow and I have had only had one slight attack in that
    time. Last year I was so bad it made my life a total misery, now I can
    even go out without my glasses and my eye hardly waters. I have no pain in
    my eye (it used to ache all the time) and my eyesight is without doubt
    better because I don't find it so hard to focus. I can spend more time
    working on my computer so all in all this has been a resounding success for
    me- the first thing that has worked in 5 years of hospital consultants and
    doctors. I have thrown out all my eye drops and use nothing else at all
    except the capsules. I am now so confident that this works that I will post
    on the Dry eye site to tell others of my success. I would love to know how
    others get on, my Dry eye was caused by poor viscosity of the tears but only
    in 1 eye. Therefore this is obviously the right treatment for me. I wonder
    how others with Dry eye from other causes will fair? I feel like shouting
    this from the rooftops I'm so grateful to you. If I hadn't seen your post
    that day I would still be suffering. I'm putting in a 2nd order today
    because we are having a post strike and I don't want to run out!
    I can't thank you enough or praise this too much. I love the idea of using
    alternate remedies because I know a lot of drugs don't treat the root cause.
    It's a shame British consultants don't have better knowledge of this
    condition, all I ever got was eye drops and more eye drops none of which
    Many many thanks June Fraser in London
    Eric Solomon, Nov 5, 2003
  8. I never got any answer from anybody on this question, but I have in
    the meantime been give an article by my ophthalmologist's office that
    gives the recommended therapeutic dose of flaxseed oil/capsules for
    treatment of dry eyes. It's an article by Paul Honan, M.D., saying
    that the suggested regimen is 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds, 1-2x
    daily; or 1-2 tablespoons flaxseed oil, 1-2x daily; or 3-4 capsules
    morning and evening. 12 almonds or pecans daily is listed as an

    That's an awful lot more than the 2 capsules per day that I've been
    taking, which I already thought was a lot!

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 16, 2003
  9. Mark

    Luke Guest

    Here's another suggestion:

    Treating Dry Eye Will Never be the Same
    How an EPA-enriched Flaxseed Oil Supplement Treats Dry Eye
    by Jeffrey P. Gilbard, MD

    "Each 2 softgels contain 100 IU of Vitamin E, 500 mg of Flaxseed Oil,
    225 mg of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid from Fish Oil) and 50 mg of DHA
    (Docosahexaenoic acid from Fish Oil)."

    Recommended dosage is two caps twice a day. Theratears Nutrition is
    about $8 for 120 caps at my local Wal-Mart. A very quick price
    comparison with fish oil, flaxseed oil, and vitamin E caps purchased
    separately and it seems an equivalent (actually more of everything, I
    think) dose can be had for less buying separates, but the Theratears
    is convenient.
    Luke, Nov 16, 2003

  10. I am familiar with TheraTears Nutrition. I don't have any information
    on how effective it is, but the flaxseed oil dosage recommendation in
    the paper I cited earlier is 9-28 times higher than the dosage that
    TheraTears recommends for its capsules, depending on whether you take
    1 or 2 tablespoons of oil per day, and also depending on which of the
    oils in the capsules you include in the calculations. To get the
    recommended dosage of flaxseed oil, you'd have to take an awful lot of
    TheraTears capsules (an entire bottle could last less than a week),
    which would be far more expensive than taking liquid flaxseed oil. I
    do note, however, that TheraTears Nutrition has some ingredients in it
    that pure flaxseed oil does not, and I have no idea if taking more
    than the recommended dosage would be toxic, or whether any of the
    ingredients are more beneficial for dry eyes than pure f;axseed oil.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 16, 2003
  11. Mark

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I don't think that one can overdose, since flax is a food product, not a
    drug. I believe that the recommended dose is about one tablespoon per day,
    which is equivalent to 15 grams of fat. I take 9 capsules of salmon oil
    per day, or 9 grams of fat. It just depends on how much fat you want in
    your diet.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 17, 2003
  12. When I was doing a search through the archives of this newsgroup, I
    found a comment that Larry made saying that ingesting more than 3000mg
    per day can ingest the risk of bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke. He
    cited the following reference:


    However, if you read that article carefully, it says that is the
    potentially toxic dose for EPA and DHA combined. These are fats that
    are not actually present in flaxseed oil, but flaxseed oil may be
    converted by the body into these end products (in small unknown
    quantities). Fish oil, however, does contain EPA and DHA, as
    mentioned in the above article. I take this to mean (and I could be
    wrong) that you have to be a lot more careful about the quantity of
    fish oil that you ingest than flaxseed oil. The quantity you've been
    taking could be potentially hazardous, especially if you get
    additional amounts of these fats from your diet.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 17, 2003
  13. Good point, Francine. I do always take my flaxseed oil with
    breakfast, although I never thought much about the reason for that

    The article I mentioned earlier also cited some research by a
    scientist named Patricia Kane that said that flaxseed oil is better
    absorbed if it travels through the digestive system slowly, which is
    why ground seeds may be better than oil or capsules (or perhaps the
    reason why it's better to take the oil with meals). Another author,
    Dr. Johanna Budwig, was cited as saying that fats are only soluble and
    free-flowing when bound to protein, and she recommended mixing
    flaxseed oil mixed with lowfat cottage cheese. Unfortunately, I don't
    eat much protein with my breakfast, so I wonder how useful the
    flaxseed oil really is for me. Maybe I'll start taking it with lunch

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 17, 2003
  14. Mark

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    That article also said that it would take 10 or more capsules a day to
    achieve the 3,000 mg. combined EPA, DHA dose. As a result of taking 9
    capsules/day, my blood work is normal, I do not seem to bleed excessively
    from a cut, and I am not having to take regular doses of Advil or other
    NSAID's which might otherwise rot my kidneys or my liver.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 18, 2003
  15. I hope you don't eat any seafood on top of that. Actually, the
    article said that it would take 10 or more capsules of *most* fish oil
    pills to reach that 3000mg limit. Brands can vary greatly in their
    EPA/DHA content, and since it's not FDA regulated, not even what's
    printed on the label is what the pills necessarily actually contain
    (although usually it's *less* than what they claim). I just looked it
    up, and there's a brand called "Carlson Super Omega-3 Fish Oils" that
    has 500mg combined EPA/DHA per capsule. At 9 capsules per day, that's
    4500mg per day--way above the FDA warning level. Maybe you should
    start buying that brand and only need to take 5 capsules per day!

    Here's where I got the info on that brand and others:


    If that dosage works for you though and you are not worried about the
    potential hazards (or the benefits seem to far outweigh the risks for
    you), then good for you. I think it's great that you've noticed that
    it has an effect on your blood work! I'm actually very curious what
    my lipid levels are going to look like at my next physical, now that
    I've been taking flaxseed oil for a while.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 18, 2003
  16. Mark

    Mark Guest

    I find you get better value for money and higher doses of the EPA & DHA
    by buying the liquid form of fish oils, however the downside is that it
    tastes foul! I've just bought a bottle of my supermarket own brand fish
    oils and each 10ml dose contains 1012mg of DHA and 828mg of EPA (plus
    100% RDA of Vit A, D & E).

    Apart from the other health benefits of taking fish oil, I've read
    studies have also shown that a daily intake of EPA can also treat people
    who suffer from depression.
    Mark, Nov 18, 2003
  17. I agree completely.
    Yeah, you should see the look on my face when I swallow a spoonful of
    flaxseed oil every morning. I can only imagine how much worse fish
    oil is. I don't blame DrG for taking the capsules instead!
    So they claim. It's unfortunate that there aren't better regulatory
    controls on how much manufacturers can claim is present in their

    I'm beginning to wonder now if DHA and EPA have anything to do with
    what makes flaxseed oil supposedly good for the tear film, or if it's
    some other component of the oil, considering how little of the
    flaxseed oil reportedly gets converted to DHA and EPA by the body.
    Has anybody tried both and noticed any difference?

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 18, 2003
  18. Mark

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    I take salmon oil. I find lots of publications on benefits, but few - if
    any - on the negatives, let alone what constitutes an overdose. One or two
    studies actually used doses of 4 grams of the purified DHA/EPA on human
    subjects. I realize that what I take is a bit on the high end, amounting
    to about two teaspoons of fish oil/day...but it seems to do the trick in
    terms of how well I get around. A phlebotomist recently remarked on how
    well my blood flowed into the collecting vial and how little bleeding
    occurred from the puncture site...not scientific, but interesting.

    Dr. Leukoma, Nov 18, 2003
  19. That's fascinating! Do you have reason to correlate this with the
    salmon oil (did your blood use to flow and/or clot differently before
    you started taking it)? Also, have you noticed that it made any
    difference in your eyes since you started taking it?

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 18, 2003

  20. Well, you've certainly done your homework figuring out what dosage
    works best for you! That's *really* interesting about the headaches.
    I can't even begin to think of a mechanism for that effect. I wonder
    if that is a common effect, or just something peculiar about your own

    Of all the various foods, supplements, medications that I've tried
    over the years, there has been only one that has given me as
    pronounced a result as you've seen, and that is Zicam. Ever since I
    started using that at the first sign of a cold, I never get full-blown
    colds anymore. I used to get them quite frequently. But I digress...

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 18, 2003
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