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Scientists find a link between your eyes, brain and… Oranges?

by , 12 November 2014

You'll probably never forget the image of your mom standing over you at the dinner table telling you to eat your carrots so you could see better in the dark.

But now that you're older, you know it's not just carrots that keep your eyes healthy.

What about oranges? Did you know they're an essential part of your eye health?

It's true!

In fact, they might be as good for your eyes as carrots.

And they're the link between your eye health and brain health. Or rather, it's what oranges contain…

Read on to find out what it is!

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Your eye health and brain health are closely connected by what’s inside an orange

The cells that line the back part of your eye are what are most important in your ability to see.
These cells are like the film in a camera. When light comes into contact with them, they transmit a messages to your brain telling it about the frequency of the light, what colour it is and which cell it’s touching.
Imagine a Polaroid developing in front of your eyes. That’s basically what your brain does with the messages, but at a much, much faster rate.
But what happens when your Polaroid camera gets a bit old? The photos don’t come out as clear. And as they’re developing, you see blurry or distorted spots.
The same happens when your retinal cells aren’t in good health.
That’s why they need oranges!
More specifically, the vitamin C in oranges…
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Study reveals the same vitamin C-using nerves in your eyes are also present in your brain

For your retinal cells to work as they should, experts form the Oregon Health & Science University say they literally need to have high doses of vitamin C on the inside and out.
This made them wonder about the role of vitamin C in the brain. After all retinal cells are part of the central nervous system and your brain is the main command centre.
They looked at the receptors in the retina called GABBA, which are also present in the brain. They’re responsible for stopping conduction between cells once a message is finished transmitting.
When the researchers removed vitamin C from the retinal cells, GABBA stopped working and communication went haywire.
If this carries on too long, the cells become overworked and damaged. Then, they break down and die.
And because there’s GABBA receptors in your brain too, researchers say the same thing is likely to happen.
It could even be the reason dementia sets in when patients don’t have enough vitamin C in their bodies!
While it wasn’t possible for this group of researchers to do studies on the brain to prove it, this will come up in other studies.
But, in the meantime, now that you know how important vitamin C is for your eye health, don’t forget to get your daily dose!
Eat foods like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kiwis and green leafy vegetables to maintain healthy vitamin C levels in your system. Who knows, it might be the protection your brain needs to ward off disease too!

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