About our Founder,
Associate Clinical Professor Emeritus,
Chris A. Knobbe, MD
Eye physician and surgeon, Chris A. Knobbe, MD, had been in practice nearly 20 years when, in 2013, he asked himself the question, “Could macular degeneration be a ‘Westernized disease’? Could AMD be a disease that is the result of a Westernized diet?” That question would forever change his life.
Dr. Knobbe began his practice of ophthalmology in 1994, after completing his residency training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, in Denver, Colorado, USA. He was certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1997 and has remained board-certified since then.
In 2001, Dr. Knobbe was invited to become an Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, Texas. He held that position until April 30, 2017, when he relinquished his position to lead Cure AMD Foundation™, the goal of which is to spread the message regarding he and his colleagues’ research and theory, prevent vision loss from AMD and, finally, to pursue additional research regarding Dr. Knobbe’s thesis.
So how is it that Dr. Knobbe became a nutrition researcher — and developed this hypothesis — you ask?
In 2011, when a few dietary changes drastically improved the arthritis that Dr. Knobbe had suffered with for more than 15 years, he was compelled to learn everything he could about nutrition. And that is how and why he eventually asked himself that critical question regarding the genesis and progression of macular degeneration.
On February 25, 2015, after four years of nutrition research and enough compelling evidence to support his hypothesis that AMD was caused by “Westernization of the diet,” Dr. Knobbe left his full-time practice of general ophthalmology to pursue full-time investigative research on this very subject. It would be nearly a year-and-a-half of intensive study, research, investigation, interviews, and writing, before he had completed his research and was ready to deliver this scientific breakthrough to the world. That message would come in the form of presentations, a scientific paper, a book, and ultimately, the founding of this very organization.
The hypothesis that Dr. Knobbe would proffer holds that macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss and blindness in developed nations, is not only preventable, but treatable in the early to moderate stages, with an ancestral diet.
Research shows us that somewhere in the range of 190 million people currently are affected by AMD, worldwide. Yet, just a century ago, the disease was an extreme medical rarity, worldwide.
If Dr. Knobbe’s hypothesis is correct, every single patient’s macular degeneration is caused by diet. And every single case of early to moderate dry AMD is treatable with diet. That’s right, every single one.
And now it is the goal of Dr. Knobbe, affiliated colleagues, and the Cure AMD Foundation™ team, to bring this revolutionary hypothesis and research to you, for free (we have no markup on books, and ebooks are “sold” for the cost of a credit card transaction to maintain security).
Why are we providing all of this for free, you ask?
To find out, please read the message directly from Dr. Knobbe, below!
A Message Directly from our Founder,
Chris A. Knobbe, MD…
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Every single textbook and scientific study to date makes some various assertion that “the etiology of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is unknown.” Etiology simply means “cause.” If we don’t know what causes AMD, we certainly cannot prevent it. Nor do we have any logical means to treat the condition. Hence, the inexorable progression of the disease for those already afflicted. Why? Because the foods being consumed that initiated the disease, in most all cases, continue to be consumed. And those foods have been available now for more than a century.
In the 19th century, macular degeneration was extraordinarily rare and remained so up until about 1930.* If this disease is truly “age-related,” or a “genetic disease,” as conventional ophthalmology currently believes, why was it rare just 85 years ago? Does this make any sense to you?
AMD was first discoverable in 1851, after Hermann von Helmholtz invented the ophthalmoscope.
Ophthalmologists were using the ophthalmoscope on a worldwide basis, by the early 1860s. Yet, by 1920, in nearly 70 years of potential discovery, there were no more than about 50 cases of AMD, worldwide.
Today, there are approximately 196 million people affected with AMD. And as of 2002, more than 2 million people who were blind in both eyes, due to AMD.* Yes, both eyes.
I would estimate that, today, nearly 3 million people are blind in both eyes, due to AMD.
Somehow, we went from perhaps a few hundred or a few thousand people affected with AMD in 1900 — to around 196 million people affected today. There were around 1.6 billion people in the world in 1900 and more than 7 billion people in the world today.
So while the world’s population increased 4.5-fold between 1900 and 2018, the increase in AMD is thousands of fold greater.
Do the math yourself, if you wish. Something doesn’t add up, right?
The prevalence of AMD has risen, drastically, and in some countries, such as Japan and New Zealand, AMD prevalence has risen markedly in just the past 30 to 40 years — and these are scientific facts.*
So… ‘something’ has caused this, right? We cannot attribute this to ‘aging’ of the population, or genetic ‘drift.’
But, when you look at dietary transitions, from native, traditional diets, to Westernized diets, it all makes sense. It all adds up.
In the writings found on our website at Cure AMD Foundation™ — and in my book, which is entitled Ancestral
Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration — you will see why. And you will clearly understand exactly when, how, and why man-made, processed, nutrient-deficient, and toxic food components (which are ubiquitous in developed nations) caused macular degeneration in the first place.
With the knowledge that you will gain by reviewing these writings and, hopefully, my book, you will clearly and very simply understand how to avoid those foods, while consuming the critically important “sacred foods” that are so vital to overall health and the prevention of disease.
I believe that the days, years, and decades of not knowing the cause of macular degeneration are behind us. About a year-and-a-half after I developed the hypothesis for the nutritional basis of AMD, I collaborated with accomplished nutrition researcher, Marija Stojanoska, MSc, of Skopje, Macedonia, and a few ophthalmologists in the South Pacific Islands, to investigate the hypothesis that I developed, by analyzing nutrition data in 25 different nations. That data, which dates back to 1961 in all cases and much further back in the U.S. and U.K., confirms that the hypothesis is strongly supported. That is, the data shows a strong correlation between rising consumption of processed foods and marked rises in AMD prevalence, in multiple nations. In short, we have answers for the cause of AMD.
This brief statement is not the place to review that data, mind you — hence, the book!
Now, I have written some brief articles that get right to the point, for the website, but my goal is to get you to read the book so that you will have a deep understanding of nutrition, as this will guide you on your journey towards a healthier life and stable or possibly even improved vision.
Caution: If you have wet AMD, by all means follow your ophthalmologist’s advice regarding any need for injectable anti-VEGF drugs, such as Avastin, Lucentis, or Eylea. You cannot treat wet AMD with diet alone. It’s too late for that.
In any case, I believe we now not only know how to prevent AMD, but we also know how to treat the condition for those who already have existing disease in the form of dry AMD.
Now, if you’re a naturally born skeptic like I am, I invite you to do your own research, even to investigate every scientific study and reference in my book, and draw your own conclusions. I’ve referenced every single scientific fact, statement, and study right in the book — exactly where each detail is presented. In fact, there are more than 1300 references, approximately 90% of which come from scientific textbooks and papers. . This allows you to read each one, if you so desire, for validation.
I would also like to invite you and challenge you to read the entire book, particularly all of the food consumption data extracted primarily from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), dating back to 1961 in most every country and even as far back as the 19th century for the U.S. Then, you can analyze for yourself the correlation between the food consumption data and the prevalence of AMD, in all 25 nations. At that point, I would be shocked if you don’t arrive at the exact same logical conclusions that I’ve drawn.
In fact, I believe you will be astonished at the strength of correlation between increasing consumption of processed foods, as evidenced by proxy markers of processed foods, in the form of polyunsaturated vegetable oils (“harmful vegetable oils”) and added sugars, and the incidence or prevalence of AMD. Sugars and vegetable oils are well known amongst nutrition researchers as proxy-markers of processed foods, that is, they “mark” where processed foods are, because so many man-made, processed foods have these two ingredients in them. And by the way, these two foods also happen to be those that are most strongly associated with AMD development.
In Japan, AMD Prevalence has Risen 57-Fold, or 5,700 Percent, in 30 Years!
Aging and Genetics Cannot Explain This — But the Dietary Transition Does
You will witness, for example, that in Japan, since the 1960s, sugar consumption has nearly doubled and polyunsaturated vegetable oil consumption elevated 4.5-fold, while the prevalence of AMD has risen from 0.2% in the late 1970s, to 11.4% by 2007.* This is an increase in prevalence of disease of 57-fold! That is a 5,700 percent increase!
We’re not talking about an elevation of 20% or 40%, which in so many studies would be considered a “statistically significant difference.” We’re talking about a 5,700% increase in the prevalence of AMD, in Japan, in a 30-year span! Now, this cannot possibly be due to aging of the population. Or genetic changes. Right?
Nutrition “gurus” and the “diet dictocrats,” as Sally Fallon-Morell of the Weston A. Price Foundation prefers to refer to them, from Harvard and the like, are scratching their heads wondering why the Japanese have begun to become like us, with rising obesity, heart disease, cancer rates, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome, but to any ancestral nutrition researcher, it’s clear as a bell. The nation of Japan, over the past 50 to 60 years, has gradually Westernized their diet. They’re consuming our Westernized processed foods, filled with sugars and polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and you see fast food restaurants popping up everywhere.
The Africans of Barbados, Where Processed Food is the Norm, Have 243-Fold Greater Prevalence of AMD than the Africans of Southwestern Rural Nigeria, Who Cannot Get Processed Food
Another example that I like to point out regards AMD in the African people of Southwestern Rural Nigeria versus AMD in the African people of Barbados, West Indies (the “Caribbean”).
The people of Southwestern rural Nigeria, which are virtually a 100% African population, were shown in 2007
to have an AMD prevalence that was extraordinarily low, at approximately 0.1%. However, these same people have virtually no access to grocery stores or restaurants, that is, no access to processed food.
Now, compare the 97% African population of the island nation of Barbados (in the “Caribbean,” or technically, in the western area of the North Atlantic). Barbados, which is known amongst nutrition researchers, as a “mecca for processed food consumption,” has an AMD prevalence of 24.3%, as of 1995. That is, the Africans of this island nation, who consume mostly processed food because of the fact that they import almost all of their food (imported food is usually processed), have 243-fold greater prevalence of AMD than the genetically similar Africans of Southwestern rural Nigeria!
But sugar consumption among the people of Barbados is more than four times the World Health Organization’s
recommendations and their polyunsaturated vegetable oil consumption has been approaching more than 20 grams per person per day since the late 1970s (and this number is almost certainly under-reported).* Again, we’re not talking about a prevalence increase of 30% or even 70%. This is an AMD prevalence in Barbados that is 24,300% (yes, twenty four thousand three hundred percent) greater, than the Africans of Southwestern rural Nigeria, who cannot get processed food!*
Do we need statistical analyses to tell us whether this difference might be statistically significant?
The data and support for this hypothesis is deep and I hope you can understand I’m just providing an extremely superficial overview, with a couple of “tidbits” of data, to wet your appetite. If you’re asking questions about the data and support, then that is good. Get the book as soon as possible — and just devour it. If you’re not already fundamentally rooted in ancestral nutrition and the principles and philosophy of Weston A. Price, whom many nutrition researchers consider the ‘Father of Nutrition,’ then you’re going to be shocked, quite frankly. And all of the confusing detail about nutrition is going to leave your mind. Everything about nutrition will suddenly make sense.
Great Science Begins With Great Questions
All great change in history, at least those in science and in medicine, have begun with a great question or idea – a hypothesis, if you will.
The Wright Brothers asked themselves if it was possible for man to fly. Thomas Edison asked himself if it would be possible to harness electricity to create an incandescent light bulb.
In the field of ophthalmology, there have been quite a number of tough questions and revolutionary hypothees, which have led to amazing inventions and life-altering treatments.
In 1946, Sir Harold Ridley, of London, England, removed a cataract while a student observed. Afterward, the
student asked Dr. Ridley, “You took out the cataract, but you did not replace it with anything. Why not?”
Ridley explained to the student that there was no such implantable lens to take the place of the natural lens. But, it made Ridley ask himself if that might be possible — and that later led to his development of an intraocular lens implant. Intraocular lens implants, or IOLs, would eventually become standard of care. Yet, despite all of the success that Ridley had shown early on, it took more than 30 years before IOLs were considered standard of care.
In the case of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), I only developed the hypothesis for its cause after extensive study in the field of nutrition. In fact, it was late 2013 when I had finally understood that numerous “Westernized diseases,” that is, diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, osteoarthritis, tooth decay (cavities and abscesses), and numerous autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.), all follow the consumption of nutrient-deficient, processed, Westernized foods.
Once I understood this concept, which I have revealed in great detail in the book, I simply asked myself the following questions: “Could macular degeneration be another of these Westernized diseases? Could AMD be entirely secondary to diet and, therefore, be completely preventable? Early and moderate stages of disease halted in their tracks?”
In the fields of medicine, biology, and nutrition, any hypothesis should have biological plausibility. If it does,
then that hypothesis may be tested in order to determine validity. And that is exactly what my colleague researcher, Marija Stojanoska, and I did. The results of those correlative studies in 25 nations are presented in the book.
And quite frankly, I would assert that those results are staggering.
More importantly, they support the hypothesis that I developed, in every single instance. As such, I feel 99.9% certain that this hypothesis has validity in every respect. In fact, this is about as close as we can get to mathematical certainty.
Therefore, I have not the slightest hesitation in recommending an ancestral dietary strategy to you and to my own family, not only in order to prevent and/or treat AMD, but to prevent and treat virtually all Westernized disease (again, heart disease, cancers, stroke, hypertension, metabolic syndrome (abnormal blood lipids, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and visceral obesity), type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autoimmune disorders, and many more.
This, of course, is just a thumbnail sketch of what I’ll review for you in great detail in Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration.
Critical to understand, however, is that ancestral dietary strategy will not and cannot recover vision that has already been permanently lost to AMD. Dietary strategy can help to reverse the damaging processes at work during early phases of disease, but cannot recover loss of retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) and photoreceptors, and therefore, cannot recover vision that has already been lost.
Prevention is key. It’s just like preventing a heart attack, stroke, cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease.
When the RPE cells and photoreceptors (rods and cones) atrophy or die, they don’t regenerate.* Generally, like brain and central nervous system neurons, these cells are non-regenerative. With limited exceptions, they cannot be “re-grown.” We just cannot replace these cells that have undergone cell death, no matter what the reason. Hence, the paramount importance of altering the nutritional state as early as possible, preferably, long before one has ever lost any vision to AMD.
As the old saying goes, ‘The best time to start is ten years ago. But the second best time to start, is today.”
That said, when it comes to our health, the best time to start is months prior to our very own conception. In fact, even our grandparents’ nutrition affects our genetic make-up! And we’ll review that in the book. For the sake of AMD, it’s what we do from the time we’re young that affects the development and/or progression of this disease.
So, the best time to begin an ancestral diet, of course, is as early as you possibly can. And that’s where Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration comes in. Rest assured, after reading this book, you will know more about nutrition than most any physician, healthcare provider, nutritionist, family member, or friend that you know.
This book presents a comprehensive approach to nutrition. It has to. The eyes don’t live in a vacuum. They live in your body, where they benefit — or suffer — as much as or more than any other organ in the body, as a result of the individual’s nutritional status.
In fact, the eyes require more important nutrients per weight and volume of tissue than virtually any other organ or tissue in the body — and the eyes may be more susceptible to lack of nutrients and the toxic effects of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, trans fats, and added sugars, than any other organs or tissues.*
Oh, and you can’t get those micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) from supplements (pills) and do yourself hardly any good. In fact, you may very well hurt yourself.* Yes, that’s right.
If you’re taking multivitamins (and AREDS supplements are multivitamins), on average, you will shorten your lifespan.* That’s right. You will die sooner.
Sorry, it’s a fact. It’s right in the research – which will be reviewed in detail, in my book (and even on this site).
“So, where am I supposed to get my nutrients from?” you ask?
I will only recommend that you buy good food – from grocery stores, farmers, ranchers, or possibly your nearby farmer’s markets.
Whole, natural, unprocessed, and preferably organic, foods.
Right, just food. You can’t buy any “eye vitamins,” supplements, elixirs, lutein and zeaxanthin infused tablets, omega-3 supplements, or anything else that will substantially reduce your risk of AMD and/or AMD progression, if you already have the disease.
You have to change your diet – period.
So… get ready for an in-depth review and, hopefully, an amazing journey in nutrition, which may then be followed by your own nutritional “recovery.” This book will not only set you on a path to help prevent vision loss but on a path to result in your best health ever.
The beauty of this plan is that you won’t be eating right just to prevent vision loss from AMD, but the same ancestral dietary approach will set you on a path to prevent (and possibly treat) heart disease, stroke, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers of almost every type, dementia, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, etc., etc., etc.!
Could the Answers to Preventing and Treating AMD Really be as
Simple as an Ancient Diet — Seriously?
From early 2011 to mid-2013, I studied nutrition every chance I got. I was obsessed. I learned so much and found many answers, but I was still so deeply confused about all of the research.
I was just lost when it came to all of the conflicting research and all of the conflicting advice. I mean, even Harvard nutrition researchers tell us things today, that are just absolute nonsense. And why do they?
Because, just like me before I read the research of Weston A. Price, they had no fundamental framework within which to build upon.
If you build your house upon sand, it will crumble, I assure you. It’s the same with nutrition.
The research of Weston A. Price, completed in 1939 and 1945, provides that framework. For more on that, please watch one of my videos, read our scientific paper, or read my book.
And now that I understand his research, all of nutrition is so simple!
Just a couple of weeks ago, I came across this quote, from Bill Mollison…
Now that I know, what I know, about the cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it’s so simple really that it is almost embarrassing. One physician who heard me speak at a conference said, “It’s so simple – I’m surprised no one ever thought of this before.” Quite honestly, I feel exactly the same.
For those of us who understand Weston A. Price principles and philosophy, it’s all so simple. To everyone else, nutrition is overwhelmingly complex, and they’re stuck with relying on short-term nutrition studies, which have no fundamental basis in nutrition. Research cannot determine the cause of diseases that have incubation periods of several decades. And this is exactly the case with heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and macular degeneration, just to name a few.
In other words, these diseases are unquestionably caused by Westernized diets, but these disease states take several decades to develop. And here’s the disconnect. Scientific studies that attempt to assess the causes of such diseases have never lasted more than about eight years.* This is exactly why Harvard PhD’s of nutrition still believe saturated fat is evil, i.e., that it’s associated with heart disease, and they sheepishly diss coconut oil as well — why? Because it too is high in saturated fat.
If this doesn’t quite all make sense right now, don’t worry. You will gain this fundamental understanding of nutrition, once you’ve read my book. Oh, and you will clearly understand why saturated fats, of both plant and animal variety, will do you nothing but good.
At Cure AMD Foundation™ Our Only Motivation Is Your Health and Saving Your Vision — and Our Book Prices, Free Content, and Financial Records Prove It
Seldom would you hear that the founder, president, or CEO of a company earns nothing for the company he or she runs. And that no one in the organization is paid. No one. Yet, that is precisely what I’m about to tell you.
Since February of 2015, I have committed myself on a full-time basis towards research, writing, presentations, and, in a nutshell, the ultimate goal of saving vision from the ravages of AMD, for millions of people.
I’ve never earned a nickel for any of it.
In fact, I have nothing but debt to pay and monthly bills associated with this Foundation.
I’m not complaining. As an ophthalmologist, for 24 years I received just compensation. And for 21 of those years, I received a healthy and typical 6-figure income as an eye physician and surgeon (Eye MD). I made some good choices and we’ve been blessed, in many ways.
I knew that I could not work full-time at any position, and complete this research and book, in a timely fashion. Working full-time at the research and writing the book (Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration), I accomplished in 18 months what would have taken me five or six years to accomplish, if I were practicing full-time.
And I knew, every day people were losing vision to AMD. The clock was ticking…
In August of 2016, the book was done and I gave my debut presentation of this thesis and our supportive research, at the Ancestral Health Symposium – 2016, held at the University of Colorado Boulder.
I’ve pushed forward, spread the message, written more content, and given a lot of presentations, all over the nation. I’ve never looked back.
Now, let me get personal for a moment…
Our daughter, Kyla, is now at the University of Colorado Boulder (the alma mater of both her Mom and I), where she is earning a bachelor’s degree in business (Communications) while simultaneously completing the science pre-requisites that will allow her to pursue a career in the allied health fields (e.g. nursing, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, etc.).
Because I was no longer practicing ophthalmology, as of mid 2016, her Mom and I were able to move back to our home-state of Colorado, in 2016, when Kyla began her freshman year at CU.
College is expensive. Housing, particularly in Colorado, is expensive. But, we’ve been able to support ourselves, with Kyla in college, while I’ve built this fledgling nonprofit organization. In the beginning, we charged between $47 and $97 dollars a piece, for the books. We did this to offset the high costs of the business start-up, which we couldn’t afford, particularly since I no longer had an income.
Book sales didn’t cover our high costs of start-up, however, and we never covered the high costs of start-up. But book sales did keep our annual out-of-pocket costs in the business down to five figures, per year. Most people who’ve never started or run a business do not understand, but we literally had to hire dozens of people, mostly as contractors or freelancers, to help with production of the website, books, and the non-profit foundation start-up, which included website developers, graphic designers, videographers, lawyers, accountants, and more.
Now that the initial start-up costs are greatly reduced, I’ve done what I always wanted to do. I’ve dropped the prices on books down to nothing. Or at least nothing from our standpoint.
We priced the books at the cost of printing, plus credit card transaction and shipping fees. The ebook is now sold for the cost of a credit card transaction, which is a minimum 50 cents. This provides the book via a secure download and allows downloads up to three times, so that one could download to different devices.
Now we’re where I’ve always wanted to be – as a non-profit organization.
We provide all of this information and our services — for free.
The public can confirm our 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and our (lack of) revenue and assets on this site, by clicking over to our Annual Report/Financial Information page.
Getting back to spreading this message…. Besides the book and live presentations, I’ve written a few articles for the website and published a few of my presentations online and on the website, so that people could view this thesis and a thumbnail sketch of our supportive research, for free.
I’ve traveled all about the nation and given talks in dozens of cities, for multiple organizations, including the Weston A. Price Foundation, the Ancestral Health Symposium, the Christian Ophthalmology Society, and the Macular Degeneration Association, all without compensation and at our own expense.
I’ve done all of this — for a number of reasons.
First, I am a man of Christian faith and principles. I believe this is what our Lord has called me to do.
Second, I believe I have an opportunity here to save vision, for perhaps millions of people. And I believe this with every ounce of my being. How can spreading that knowledge, ever go wrong?
Third, I decided I want to help those most in need; the people who, in many cases, can least afford it.
Let me ask, did you ever see the movie Patch Adams? The film is a semi-biographical comedy-drama film, starring Robin Williams, which is loosely based on the life story of Hunter “Patch” Adams, MD, a physician who dedicated his life’s work to providing care for those who can’t afford it. Soon after graduating from medical school, Patch, his wife, and friends founded the Gesundheit! Institute, which ran as a free community hospital from 1971 to 1984. Patch dedicated his life — and continues to do so to this day — to help those most in need, and who can least afford it. He teaches medical students to develop “compassionate connections” with patients, relying in part on fun and humor as essential entities to physical and emotional health. Since seeing the film, I’ve wanted to do much the same as Patch Adams. I was truly inspired.
Fourth and last on my list of reasons that I’ll list (there are many more), is that I believe severe loss of vision and blindness, is tragic, particularly when it is avoidable. Over the course of my practice, I watched many hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of patients lose significant vision, to AMD. I observed a few who were already blind due to this disease when they came into my practice, or who went blind in both eyes due to macular degeneration, during the tenure of my practice.
This is one of the most heart-rending losses imaginable. I watched a number of these people lose their ability to work, to read, to drive, and often, to see their grandchildren’s faces. And all I could do is listen to them lament their losses. At that point, there’s nothing we ophthalmologists can do. Nothing. Except listen and be compassionate, that is.
As you probably realize, perhaps most of us, would rather lose two limbs, rather than go blind. And many of us would rather die, than go blind. I might be in the latter group.
Since beginning this journey and this mission with Cure AMD Foundation, I’ve developed pretty close friendships with two profoundly kind and inspiring gentlemen, both of whom are bilaterally blind.
One of those men is Charlie Collins. Charlie, now in his early 50s, is bilaterally centrally blind and has been
since age 13, due to juvenile macular degeneration (JMD). JMD is a rare genetic disorder. Charlie faced immense struggles in childhood as a result of his vision loss, and that led to struggles and challenges that few of us could imagine, lasting until Charlie was in his 30s. At that time, he overcame addictions and family troubles as a husband and father, by facing up to his own loss, and by using that loss to help others.
Charlie started a low-vision adaptive technologies business to help others with blindness and low vision. He continues in that business today – and I am proud to say that he is also on the Board of Directors, for Cure AMD Foundation™. Charlie amazes me. He travels across the country, catches planes, goes to business meetings, meets patients and teaches them. He is a businessman, book author, motivational speaker, and now, I’m proud to say, a great friend of mine!
The second of those men, who have profoundly influenced me, is Bobby Lakey. Bobby, now in his 40s, is entirely blind, in fact, he has undergone bilateral enucleations (surgical eye removal). Many years ago, at the age of six, Bobby was walking in front of a neighbor’s house one day when his neighbor inside, who was cleaning his rifle, accidentally discharged the gun. The bullet went careening out of the house and hit Bobby in the left temple, traveling through his left orbit and partially through his right orbit. He lost the left eye immediately and, when surgeons determined that there was no possibility of sight in the right eye, they eventually removed it too.
Despite this tragedy, which many of us might believe would end any possibility of productivity, Bobby went on to become a husband, a father, and a great businessman. Like Charlie, he too found his calling in the low-vision and adaptive technologies business, where he helps others with little or no vision. I met Bobby at a meeting in Florida where I had presented (the thesis and research that is the subject of this site), and he told me how he was amazed at my presentation and that he wanted to know more. I watched, almost with my jaw on the floor, as he moved around their booth, unplugging equipment, taking it down, and storing it neatly in cases, and without vision. I was the one amazed.
Within several weeks, I had sent Bobby an eBook version of my book, and he devoured it entirely – using an ebook reader. Since then, we’ve become friends, and I’ve learned more about living without vision from guys like Charlie and Bobby.
Charlie and Bobby have both inspired me. They’ve inspired me to be a better man. They’ve challenged me, without even knowing it. For when I’m struggling to accomplish the goals and objectives I’ve set for myself, I see them rise to heights that few normally sighted people could ever achieve. I used to take it for granted that I could read the words on this page. Even when I was practicing ophthalmology.
I don’t take my vision for granted anymore.
Let me just say, I’m honored to call Charlie and Bobby my friends. Honored.
Blindness Due to AMD – I Now Believe to Be a Needless and Avoidable Tragedy…
Perhaps the main reason I get out of bed and work at this every day and without any financial reward, is because of the nearly 200 million people losing vision to AMD, and because of the inspiration of Charlie and Bobby.
Those two are “just two men” that are blind, right?
But, the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that, as of 2002, more than 2 million people in the world were already bilaterally blind, due to AMD. Two million. That’s more than two-thirds the population of the Denver Metro area (2.8 million people, in 2018). And that figure of two million bilaterally blind was 16 years ago at the time of this writing.
Today, 270 people will go blind, due to macular degeneration. And again tomorrow. And the day after that.
These people will lose vision in their second eye, making them bilaterally blind, due to AMD. Two hundred and seventy people will end up like Charlie and Bobby, if we only consider today.
Does anyone care? Is it worth evaluating this hypothesis and our supportive data, to address this tragedy? Is it worth evaluating our scientific paper – this website – my book? How many more have to go blind, before this is considered and taken seriously?
The German physicist, Max Planck, said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
The point is, I’ve already learned that many physicians and ophthalmologists will not even begin to listen to a theory that Westernized diets drive chronic degenerative diseases, metabolic disease, and well, macular degeneration (AMD). They weren’t taught that in medical school – and they have virtually no open mind about it. They stop listening before the theoretical position can even be stated.
So, back to AMD and blindness… as I digress.
I believe each and every case of blindness, due to AMD, is entirely avoidable.
And I’ve outlined a very simple ancestral dietary plan to accomplish that.
All it takes is due diligence. It is simple, but not easy.
In today’s world, if you don’t care what you eat, then you’re playing Russian Roulette. You have six chambers in your gun and, generally, about four of those chambers are loaded, maybe five.
If you are consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD), with few exceptions, you’re headed for a “Westernized disease” during your lifetime, and perhaps a few of them. You may not develop AMD, but heart disease, stroke, hypertension, cancer, metabolic syndrome, overweight and/or obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and/or one or more of the autoimmune diseases, are likely in your future. The odds are stacked against you.
So, you must choose. I want you to choose a plan of health and wellness – and good vision!
How to Begin Your Nutritional Journey – and Perhaps Your Recovery
To get started, you have a couple choices.
One, you can just read the main content of this site, including the articles, watch my presentations, and then begin. Or…
Two, you can either download my book, for 50 cents (the minimum cost of a credit card transaction), or buy one of my books in print.
The ebook and the full-color book in print are exactly the same.
I prefer to hold books in my hands, where I can highlight them myself, with a yellow marker, make notes in the pages, and refer back to those pages regularly or as needed. I’m just not a big fan of reading books on a computer or tablet, but for those who do, then the ebook is the dirt-cheap way to go. It’s as close to free as we could make it, and still protect the system and the book.
Personally, I would recommend the full-color, physical book, for those that are uncertain. Yes, it costs you as much as a dinner out, but it may influence your life in a way that an ebook, which you may not refer to as easily, won’t.
Either way, I imagine you would agree with me that information is the most valuable commodity there is – and you should refer to the concepts in this book regularly, until they become second nature.
My promise to you is that our research and the research reviewed in this book, combined with logically derived conclusions, will set you on a path that will provide the best possible chance to not only prevent progression of your AMD (if you already have the disease), but to benefit your overall health as well. This is the very plan that my family and I now follow, and the same one that I firmly believe is the best plan for virtually every person on the planet.
And you can eat any kind of food you want to! That is, if you want Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, Argentinian, French, American, Mexican, or Korean, take your pick — you can make any of them healthy! If you want to eat tacos, steak, seafood, or pasta, fine – no problem!
Or maybe you have a burning desire for tuna eyeball soup, crispy tarantulas, jellied moose nose, cheese maggots, or rotten eggs? Ha, ha! Well… You can make any of them – and make them healthy!
What you MUST ELIMINATE, however, are four things: refined white flour, added sugars, polyunsaturated vegetable oils (soybean, corn, canola, cottonseed, rapeseed, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, and rice bran oils), and artificially produced trans fats (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils).
Those, you absolutely, positively, should eliminate – especially the polyunsaturated vegetable oils and artificially created trans fats.
Those should be eliminated today – no exceptions!
When you do this…
I can guarantee you that your health will improve and that you will be following the best possible dietary plan for your eyes and your vision. And I make that guarantee without the slightest hesitation or reservation.
Next, you need to consume “sacred foods.” Yes, foods that were considered sacred by our ancestors. Foods that supply large amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D and K2). This is critical.
Want to know what those are? They’re in the book. Why am I holding out on answering this for you here? Because I want you to develop a deep understanding of this critical concept. I want you to know this inside and out, so that you know exactly why you’re consuming these foods, and why you must continue to.
If you don’t understand this critical concept, you’ll never follow through – and your success and your health are both going to suffer, I assure you.
Now, truth be told, many people might need some coaching in order to get on track and to stay on track with an ancestral diet. I’ve been told we should offer a cookbook, which we might do one day.
You can coach yourself, to a degree, by continuing to read – here on this website, my book, and/or the writings of Sally Fallon-Morell, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, Stephan Guyenet, PhD, and a few others. I’ll help you along your journey.
In the meantime, I would suggest considering the cookbook by Sally Fallon-Morell, of the Weston A. Price
Foundation. Her flagship book, Nourishing Traditions, reviews the Weston A. Price principles and philosophy, and also serves as a cookbook with ancestral strategy. Note: we have no financial relationship with any organization, and we receive no kickbacks, commissions, etc., for any recommendations, links, etc.
There are numerous other options for cookbooks, but most of them today follow Paleo Diet principles. Those that follow strict Paleo may be eliminating some foods that many people (by no means all) otherwise need not eliminate. Paleo eliminates grains, dairy, legumes (beans and lentils), and potatoes, which are foods of “modern agriculture,” which are not believed to be “consistent with the evolutionary template,” according to Paleo advocates.
Though there is nothing wrong with following Paleo for those that do well with it, the elimination of those food groups may not be at all necessary, and the research of Weston A. Price proves that to be the case.
If you have a parent or sibling with macular degeneration (AMD), you likely have a higher chance of developing AMD yourself. You may have genetics that puts you at a higher risk. But, more than likely, the thing that you “inherited,” more than a genetic predisposition, was your way of eating! And, of course, your diet almost certainly followed the mistakes of your parents, when you were young, assuming that they made the usual mistakes of the modern, Westernized world.
But, with proper diet and some exercise (yes, I would recommend some exercise), your chances of developing AMD (if you don’t have it now) should drop to zero! This is not an exaggeration. The historical reviews and studies in multiple populations will bear this out — and I’m excited for you to read all of this detail, in the book.
Not a soul at Cure AMD Foundation, including myself, has anything to gain, financially, if you buy into this hypothesis and research. As stated here and elsewhere, none of us are — or ever have been — paid by this organization. Not a nickel.
If you ultimately accept this hypothesis, this philosophy, and then you begin to follow your very own ancestral diet – the only thing we have to gain is your “success.”
Your success to us means your health, wellness, happiness, and finally, good vision (or at least retention of the vision that you currently have). In short, we’re wishing for you to have all of this success. To have a rich and fulfilling life.
In a single word from Jewish traditions and the Hebrew language, we wish for you to have shalom. We firmly believe that an ancestral diet is key to that.
If you believe in this Foundation, and you believe in this thesis and this research, please consider helping us if you are able. You can help us by making a tax-deductible, charitable contribution. To do that, please use our Donation Page, or Contact Us.
We can do so much more to reach people with this message, but we need your help. In order to spread this message, we need to reach more people via the internet, via presentations, and via books and scientific papers. This all costs money. In fact, it’s very expensive.
A Quote and Message from the Actor, Jim Carrey…
Jim Carrey once said, “The effect you have on other people is the most valuable currency there is.”
I hope that the effect I have had on you, or will have, translates to incredible value. I hope that, as a result of the knowledge that you gain, you will be richly blessed and rewarded with better health, that you will have stable and excellent vision for life, and that you will enjoy benefits that you and I never expected. In my experience, this happens commonly for those who truly follow the plan.
We Absolutely Must Complete Further Research
Previously, I reviewed some of our cost and overhead, here at Cure AMD Foundation™.
Even more importantly and far more costly, I know that we need more research. As much as I already believe in this thesis and am convinced, we won’t begin to reach many ophthalmologists and optometrists, without additional research.
And it is the sum total of over 500,000 eyecare providers, who ultimately, have the best chance of reaching patients with this news. There are around 206,000 ophthalmologists and 300,000 optometrists, currently practicing in the world. And we need to reach them – with more research.
I believe that we need to follow in the same footsteps that Weston A. Price did. That is, we need to evaluate the prevalence of AMD in societies that are consuming native, traditional diets — and then contrast this, wherever possible, with AMD prevalence in the same or genetically similar populations, who have Westernized their diets.
This is still possible, in a few isolated populations around the world. Some of those populations might include the Maasai, Rendille, Samburu, and Hadza tribes of Kenya and Tanzania, Africa, certain South Pacific Islander populations, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, the Tsimane of Bolivia, certain Mongolian populations, and a few more.
These would be expensive expeditions, perhaps costing $1.6 to 2.4 million U.S. Dollars, over the course of three years. These studies would require myself and possibly one or more ophthalmologists, one or more ophthalmic technicians, “blinded” ophthalmologist reading centers, mobile equipment, food, travel, expedition guides, translators, and an independent statistician.
This sounds like an expensive venture, but according to Gregory S. Hageman, PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, “A recent analysis of AMD in Australia predicted that the disease [AMD] cost $2.6 billion per year. This is projected to grow to $6.5 billion by 2025, a total cost of $59 billion over the next 20 years… Similar analyses for the United States are lacking, but given the demographics and higher costs of medical care in the U.S., the costs would be projected to be as much as twenty-fold higher.” *
Twenty-fold higher translates to $1.18 trillion U.S. dollars for the period of 2005 to 2025. That is $1,180,000,000,000 dollars. At an annual cost of $59 billion dollars in the U.S., that translates to over $28 million dollars per hour of clinical care, assuming 2080 hours of annual clinic in ophthalmologists and optometrists offices.
In other words, Medicare, Medicaid, other insurance plans, and patients, pay out (and/or realize a financial loss of) a total of over $28 million dollars per clinic hour in the U.S., secondary to AMD associated care (and income losses, presumably). This is about $473,000 dollars per minute of clinical care.
To complete the research project that I am proposing, for up to an estimated $2.4 million dollars over a three year term, we’re asking for donations totaling what insurance companies and patients would pay out (and lose in income) in just a little over 5 minutes of clinic care directed towards macular degeneration.
Now, imagine what the savings might be, if we even impacted AMD prevalence and/or progression, by just 10 or 20 percent!
If you’re even able to contribute as little as $3 dollars per month, perhaps about the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks, YOU will make a big difference!
And if you cannot contribute towards this cause, we completely and entirely understand, and we will still be here for you. We will continue to provide free content for you and your family and friends. We will continue to strive to provide the information for you to not only have better vision, but a better life.
I will continue to write for you, to reach out to you, to publish additional scientific papers for you, and even to answer your emails, if you email me.
In short, I’m here for you.
But remember one thing: As my friend Charlie Collins states in his motivational talks –
“Knowledge is not power. It is the application of knowledge that is power.”
You and only you can take action. Only you can educate yourself. Only you can control what you eat.
No one else. It’s up to you.
Come learn why I have suggested to the scientific community and now to you as well, that we change the name of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to Diet-related Macular Degeneration (DMD), because that’s what it is.
Chris A. Knobbe, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor Emeritus
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas, Texas
Founder & President, Cure AMD Foundation™
- All references for this writing are available elsewhere on the site and/or in the book, Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration.