Dear Dr. Donohue • I am an 82-year-old woman.My body cannot tolerate antibiotics, vitamins or painkillers. I amtold I have macular degeneration and was advised to take Ocuviteonce a day. My sister suggested I write to you to see if you havean idea of how to take Ocuvite in some other manner or some otherway to get the ingredients in it. Help. — L.M.
Answer • in 2001, the results of the firstAREDS report (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) was published. Itshowed that the combination of beta carotene (a form of vitamin A),vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc and copper could slow the progression ofmoderate macular degeneration to severe macular degeneration.Macular degeneration is a wasting away of the macula — a small,round area of the retina necessary for clear central vision, thekind needed to read, sew and drive. Ocuvite is one capsule thatincorporates all these nutrients.
Currently a new study, AREDS 2, is being conducted. Thevitamin-mineral combination has been altered a bit and newingredients have been added: lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fattyacids. some Ocuvite pills also contain these materials.
Since you’re unable to tolerate vitamins, you’ll need to getthese nutrients from foods. you might not be able to reach the highlevels found in pills, but you’d be getting all the ingredients inthose pills.
Beta carotene is found in colored vegetables like carrots andpeppers, in dark-green vegetables and in colored fruits. Vitamin Eis widely available in many foods: meats, nuts, cereal grains,wheat-germ oil and sunflower oil. you find vitamin C in citrusfruits, tomatoes, potatoes and broccoli. Zinc is in meats,shellfish, nuts and legumes, like peas. Copper is in shellfish,nuts and organ meats.
The new version of AREDS, not yet published, contains lutein andzeaxanthin, which you can obtain in kale, spinach, collard greens,corn, green beans, carrots, squash and tomatoes. Omega-3 fattyacids are found in fish like salmon and tuna.
Dear Dr. Donohue • What can I do to get rid ofa carbuncle? I have had it for four months. — M.G.
Answer • Carbuncles are huge boils thatpenetrate more deeply than do boils. they have to be opened anddrained of the pus within them. Antibiotics generally areprescribed, too.
Often, the antibiotic chosen has to be one that’s effectiveagainst MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus, pronounced”mersa”). MRSA is one of the new supergerms that are touched onlyby a few, rarely prescribed antibiotics. Carbuncles are found mostoften on the neck, back, thighs and buttocks. you must have adoctor treat them. You’re not going to meet with success on yourown.
Write Dr. Donohue at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, Fla.32853-6475.