Q & A with Dr. “OJO” (aka Dr. Jodi Luchs, MD, FACS)


Q: Why did you create OJO fortified eye care* nectar?

I noticed that many of my patients who were taking the currently available eye vitamins such as the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) and AREDS 2** vitamins were experiencing difficulty from the side effects. Patients would often experience difficulty swallowing these large pills, stomach upset or the inability to keep up with taking an additional 2-4 pills a day in addition to all of their other medicine. Rather than see these patients stop taking these important supplements which could benefit their eye health, I decided to create a solution – a great tasting, easy to ingest beverage form of these important vitamins.

Q: What qualifies you to create an eye health supplement?

I have been a practicing ophthalmologist for nearly 2 decades, I am a clinical assistant professor at Hofstra University School of Medicine, and I have participated in numerous FDA clinical trials which led to the development of many of the pharmaceutical and medical devices used in Ophthalmology today. I have also published numerous articles in ophthalmic literature including two textbooks, and I lecture extensively both nationally and internationally. It is this combined experience which I applied to the development of OJO as an important answer to the large unmet need for an alternative delivery system for these important nutrients for eye health.

Q: What do you think people should do to protect their eyes?

 Focus first on getting in the habit of eating a balanced diet which includes lots of green leafy vegetable. UV protection with proper sunglasses is also important. In addition, it is crucial for people to get their eyes screened at least every 1-2 two years. During exams, an eye doctor looks for early signs of eye conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma, as well as other diseases of the body including diabetes and hypertension. Not only are the eyes the window to the soul, they are also the window to your health!

Q: When you say “balanced diet,” what do you mean?

That is an excellent point – “balanced diet” means something different to everybody. There is no one perfect diet for every human being, but everybody needs the nutrients derived from the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Multiple studies throughout multiple disciplines of medicine have shown the benefits of good nutrition. In addition, several important studies within Ophthalmology have clinically shown the benefits of specific supplements including vitamin C, E, zinc, Lutein and Zeaxanthin for helping to preserve healthy vision

Q: How can I make sure I am getting enough vital nutrients for my eyes?

 Well, you can try to make sure you are eating enough foods rich in these compounds like:

  • Fresh vegetables like kale, carrots, spinach, and cabbage
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables with yellow, orange, and red pigments like mangoes, oranges, and cherries

Juicing is popular right now, and it may be one simple way to enrich the diet. However, you may also want to get in the habit of taking a good quality nutritional supplement to ensure that your eyes get all of the nutrients they need.

Q: Why can’t I just count on my diet?

 Truth is that it takes mass quantities of salmon, fruits, and vegetables to add up to all the nutrients the eyes need – more than most people can realistically keep up with. Even the most committed people only succeed in getting proper nutrition through diet about a quarter of the time.

Q: What is lutein?

Lutein and its cousin zeaxanthin are compounds found in plants known as carotenoids. Studies show that they are important for eye health and they are similar to beta-carotene (Vitamin A).They help to prevent damage by absorbing excess sunlight. Both compounds are in found the macula (the central part of the retina responsible for our sharpest vision), which gives it a slightly yellow color and helps to protect the macula from sun damage.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

**Age-Related Eye Disease Study--Results. (2013, May). Retrieved June 4, 2013, from National Eye Institute: http://www.nei.nih.gov/amd/

Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2). (n.d.). Retrieved June 2013, 4, from National Eye Health Institute http://www.nei.nih.gov/areds2/