optic neuritis is correlated with a low zinc level. ms patients also tend to have low zinc. the low zinc level may not be directly causing the optic neuritis, but zinc does about 100 jobs in the body and you need to have good levels to make sure those jobs are all being done well, including the ones that involve the eye. for example without zinc your body can't utilize vitamin A (retinol) properly and that has a direct impact on eye health.
if you can request a zinc test, make sure your serum level is as close as possible to 18.2 umol/L. the normal range is far wider (11.5-18.5 in the literature, sometimes as wide as 10-20 in the lab). ms patients hang out in the low end of the 'normal' range, while the healthies hang out in a tight average very close to 18.2. the takeaway point being don't get it tested and let them tell you it's 'normal'. that just means stats normal, ie you're somewhere under the bell curve. to ensure optimal zinc status you need to be at the einstein end of the curve, not the gump end!
fyi gluten consumption affects your zinc status. if you take a break from or reduce intake of gluten your body will have an easier time holding on to zinc.
info on healthy zinc-rich foods:http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=115
and a little science:
Zinc in the eyehttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 5782901953
Zinc has long been recognized as an essential constituent of various tissues. Many clinical conditions and dietary factors reduce the absorption or the biological availability of zinc, and lead to zinc deficiency which produces structural and functional alterations in many organ systems. The highest concentration of this trace element in the human body is measured in the eye
, particularly in the pigment-containing components. The deficiency of zinc has a dramatic effect on ocular development especially when it occurs during early prenatal period. Zinc is required for the structure and activity of many ocular metalloenzymes
. Although the exact mechanism of its molecular and cellular functions are largely unknown the essentiality of this element in the components of the eye, including the retina, choroid, cornea and lens, is well established; it is also well known that zinc deficiency causes functional impairments in various parts of the eye
Zinc and the Special Senseshttp://www.annals.org/content/99/2/227.short
"There is evidence that zinc is important for maintenance of the special senses: vision, taste, and smell. Rod function is impaired in zinc deficiency due partly to its role in vitamin A metabolism. However, optic nerve function may also be affected by zinc status
. Microophthalmia, anophthalmia, and optic nerve abnormalities have all been found in the offspring of female rats fed zinc-deficient diets."
"...many drugs that chelate zinc show are toxic to the optic nerve..."
hope that helps!
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com