On March 2nd, 2023, I got the current issue of the Green Medicine Newsletter, a monthly health blog, by Dr. Jonathan Wright, who is one of my Gurus.
The subject this time is Macular Degeneration, which causes blindness in 9% of the population over 70 years of age. The information provided is not new, but I’m sure you will find it interesting, if you haven’t heard it all before.


This is important to people who have been diagnosed with macular degeneration; but also to those who have indigestion problems of one sort or another, because they are more likely to develop it.
The bottom line is that macular degeneration should be preventable and that it is inexpensively, and often, treatable.


Dr. Wright suggests that a lack of certain key nutrients causes macular degeneration and that deficiency of these nutrients may be due to either a poor diet, or a failure of the stomach and intestines to digest and absorb one or more of them.

In his post, he explains:

  • Many people with macular degeneration are not absorbing nutrients necessary to the eyes, either due to low stomach acid, or insufficient pancreatic juice, or both.
  • Some people habitually neutralize their stomach acid with antacid, like Rolaids, Tums, and Maalox, not realising that “acid indigestion” is a misnomer: the symptoms are actually due to a lack of stomach acid, not an oversupply.
    Hydrochloric acid (HCl), the superstrong acid secreted by the stomach, is essential:
    it splits your food molecules up into absorbable bits.
    HCl is necessary for digestion: taking antacids for “acid indigestion” can reduce stomach acid to zero and prevent absorption of minerals and other essential nutrients, from your food!
  • Some people take medications (“PPIs”), like Zantac, Tagamet and Pepcid, which prevent HCl production by the stomach.
    These folks not only have low stomach acid: they will also lack sufficient pancreatic digestive enzyme, because the pancreas secretes its “juice” in response to HCl.
  • Stomach acid can be augmented with HCl capsules, with meals.
    Apple cider vinegar (ACV), taken in the morning, works well for some people in terms of stopping the symptoms when there is only slight reduction of stomach acid. However ACV is very, very weak compared with HCl.
    It may not return the digestion of food to normal, so a capsule of HCl is a better idea.
  • A stool test for undigested protein should be done: it will tell whether you are under-producing pancreatic enzymes, in which case you definitely need HCl capsules; or
    maybe, Capsules of HCl + pancreatic enzymes (capsules containing HCl and pepsin, the main pancreatic protein digesting enzyme, or Betaine hydrochloride and pepsin, are available).
  • However, rather than treating yourself “empirically” on the basis of this information, you should discuss the subject with an “open-minded” family doctor, or with a pharmacist.

According to Dr. Wright, the key nutrients and their approximate daily doses are:
Selenium , 300 µg,
Zinc Picolinate or Citrate, 60 – 90 Mg,
Taurine, 1 G,
Vitamin E, 400 – 800 units,
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC),

– I would add 10mg Melatonin, 1-200mg CoQ10, 10mg Lutein, 2 mg Copper, 2G Vit C, 2000 iu Vit D and 150 mg magnesium.

– Adding these nutrients to the diet may not be necessary if the diet and the eyes are normal, since appropriate treatment with HCl results in normal digestion and absorption.

– If “Achlorhydria” (nonproduction of HCl) has resulted in even mild anemia, an iron preparation should be taken with the HCl capsule.

  • Low stomach acid can cause anemia: if the hemoglobin is low, the stomach function should be checked.
  • Legend has it that thyroid hormone makes macular degeneration worse.
    In support of this idea, doctors give an eye injection which blocks the action of thyroid hormone inside the eye and it often improves vision.
    However a logical question exists: if thyroid hormone causes macular degeneration, why don’t we all have the disease?
    My suggestion therefore (as with all major medical conditions) is that a “Thyroid profile” test series, including thyroid antibodies, TSH, FT4, FT 3 and reverse T3 should be done and if intracellular hypothyroidism is diagnosed, it should be treated with slow-release triiodothyronine (T3), as usual.
  • This post contains information which may be of some help to the reader who has macular degeneration, perhaps as a baseline for discussion with a doctor.
    It is not an instruction or a prescription for macular degeneration and should not be interpreted as such.
  • Some doctors “play by the book”, with no room for ideas they are not familiar with.

I am a Toronto-trained Urologist. I practiced in downtown Toronto, from 1977 to 1997, when I went to Saudi Arabia as chief of Urology at the Armed Forces (teaching) hospital in Tabuk. Returning to Toronto in Y2000, I switched to family practice. In 2007, began to prescribe Hormone Restoration Therapy and in 2012, I became a member of the American Academy of Antiaging Medicine [A4M]. I successfully wrote the A4M's written examination in December, 2013 and In May, 2016 I passed the oral examination, for accreditation as a BHRT consultant. In 2014 I began BHRT practice in Collingwood, Ontario and in January, 2017, joined the Stone Tree Naturopathic Clinic. Now I am 82 and have retired, but it seems wasteful to jettison my learning and experience: the medical establishment knows nothing of BHRT / Functonal medicine and I feel obliged to offer my knowledge in the interest of those who are willing to think outside the box. MY QUALIFICATIONS: MB, BS, (from UWI), 1964. LMCC 1969. FRCSC (Urology), 1974. ECFMG 1984. Florida license 1998 [inactive], ABAARM Certification [A4M], 2016. I am a Member of CSAMM [the Canadian Society for Aging and Metabolic Medicine], the OMA&CMA, SUSO, CUA, RCP&S/C. PRACTICE TO DATE: Consultation in Functional Medicine, including assessment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Andropause, Menopause, Teenage and Postpartum Depression/Panic Attacks, Thyroid Hormone malfunction, Infertility, Sexual Dysfunction and “the Undiagnosable”. ALL ARE WELCOME to read, comment or question!