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Feature

Book REVIEW

Authors: Dr Kenneth Fong Choong Sian & Goo Chui Hoong PUBLISHED BY Star Publications If you have a book you would like to have reviewed please send it to: EuroTimes, Temple House, Temple Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin, Ireland

12-13 September 2014

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Abstract submission deadline: 1 March 2014

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EUROTIMES | Volume 18/19 | Issue 12/1

PUBLICATION Food for Your Eyes

LONDON e

Dietary alternatives Against that background, this book provides dietary alternatives to the AREDS supplements in a bid to include many of the same beneficial vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and omega3 fatty acids. But tables and lists are bland and difficult to incorporate into daily life.

BOOKS EDITOR Leigh Spielberg

5th EuCornea Congress

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C o r n

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Food for Your Eyes opens with a question that ophthalmologists frequently hear from their patients: “Doctor, is there anything I should eat or avoid to maintain or improve my eyesight?” We usually answer something like, “Eat as healthily as possible and your eyes will get everything they need.” Of course, what we should say is, “I don’t really know.” The authors of this book try to change that. Dr Sian, a UK-trained ophthalmologist currently living and working in Malaysia, wrote this book with his wife, Goo Chui Hoong, who is a professional dietician. Published by Star Publications, this book “aims to educate the public about the prevention of age-related macular degeneration through diet.” However, given the scope of the book, it may be useful for all health professionals who look after the eye. In addition to covering AMD, the book looks at the role of diet and dry eye and meibomian gland dysfunction, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, floaters, glaucoma, myopia, retinal detachment and strabismus. The answers here are clear: with the exception of a healthy diet for diabetics, no evidence (yet) exists to link what we eat with our eyes. “There is no supplement or diet that you can take to remove cataracts,” the authors note. Similarly, “there is no clear evidence that supplements are helpful for glaucoma.” In fact, very little information exists linking particular diets, nutrients or supplements to ocular disease. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a landmark trial completed in 2006, looked at the effect of nutrient supplementation in preventing AMD and delaying its progression in more than 4,000 patients. AREDS found that patients at high risk of developing wet AMD benefitted from taking various supplements. However, the authors caution that some of the high-dose nutrients in the AREDS formulation might have adverse effects, especially for elderly patients with concomitant medications and co-morbidities.

The authors realise that patients want their medical advice packaged into simple, colorful, easy-to-digest bytes. Thus, this book gently flows into a concise, beautifully photographed set of recipes, each of which is packed with the nutrients our patients “should” be ingesting. The recipes reflect the fact that Food for Your Eyes is written for both an Eastern and a Western audience. This introduces an international flavour, which manages to seem both familiar and exotic at the same time. For Western readers, “homemade granola” is quite obvious. “Vietnamese spring roll” is recognisable enough. “Nai pak choi cooked with taro and dried prawns” will require some adventurous shopping, while “cucur jagung” would require a moment or two on Google Translate if the book weren’t bilingual – in English & Chinese. The recipes are short and sweet and do not seem to require extensive cooking experience or expensive equipment. And the expert photographs make it all seem so lusciously delectable that the reader is motivated not only to prepare the meals, but also to keep seeing clearly enough to enjoy the pictures. “While this book has been written with AMD patients and their caregivers, and the prevention of AMD, in mind, it would also serve the public as a healthy-eating book,” the authors tell us. The book would make a nice gift to an ophthalmologist and patients with AMD.

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A European Outlook on the World of Ophthalmology

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