Your retina contains light-sensitive receptors called “rods” and “cones.” Rods and cones convert images into nerve impulses, which travel to your brain along your optic nerve. Your brain then interprets these impulses as an image, which it turns the right way up again. And that, in a nutshell, is how you see!
Your eyes need a lot of vitamins and minerals and other special compounds to stay healthy. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough of these sight-boosting nutrients in our weekly diet. Well — here’s some health news that you might be interested in: scientists have found that gingko biloba could help protect the retina.
Gingko biloba is an herb that has exhibited some pretty amazing pharmacological capabilities when it comes to brain health. Gingko contains two special ingredients called “ginkgolides” and “bilobalides.” Both these substances help to reduce inflammation and boost circulation. Because of its ability to increase cerebral circulation, gingko could aid in protecting the retina from damage.
In a clinical trial performed at the Biophysics and Laser Science Unit, Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Giza, Egypt, researchers investigated the effect of a gingko extract on retina health. They administered the ginkgo extract for up to 10 weeks, on mammalian retina. Two main groups were involved in this animal study: the normal group, which acted as control; and the gingko biloba-administrated group. The gingko group received an oral dose of 40 mg/kg/day of the extract. The researchers found that the administration of gingko biloba extract was associated with different beneficial effects on the retina.
Gingko biloba extract can be found in many natural health stores. Check the label for dosage instructions. Don’t forget to get your doctor’s advice before trying any herbal supplement to avoid interactions with any medications you are currently taking.