What is in Total Lid Care and Why?

Total Lid Care (TLC) contains antioxidants, an anti-inflammatory, plus an antibacterial agent, all in a soothing ointment. Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammatory Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Herbs, and Antibacterial Action treat the total spectrum of dry eye discomfort!

TLC Original is an all natural anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory ointment in a petrolatum/mineral oil base.

TLC Naturale contains NO petrolatum, paraffin, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances or colors. Hypoallergenic, vegetarian, no animal testing or by products, made in the USA!

Vitamin A
Vitamin A promotes healthy surface linings of the eyes [1]. When those linings break down, it becomes easier for bacteria to enter the body and cause infection. Vitamin A also helps the skin and mucous membranes function as a barrier to bacteria and viruses [2-4]. Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system, which helps prevent or fight off infections by making white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses [5-10]. Vitamin A also may help lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) fight infections more effectively. Vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness and severe dry eye due to loss of mucous producing cells.

Vitamin E 
“Vitamin E” is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities [11]. Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contain an unshared electron. Free radicals damage cells and might contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer [12]. Unshared electrons are highly energetic and react rapidly with oxygen to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). The body forms ROS endogenously when it converts food to energy, and antioxidants might protect cells from the damaging effects of ROS. The body is also exposed to free radicals from environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. ROS are part of signaling mechanisms among cells.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation. This is especially applicable to the dry eye patient with chronic inflammation of the meibomium glands, (oil glands) of the lids. I.e. the individual with blepharitis. Scientists are investigating whether, by limiting free-radical production and possibly through other mechanisms, vitamin E might help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.

In addition to its activities as an antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in immune function and, as shown primarily by in vitro studies of cells, cell signaling, regulation of gene expression, and other metabolic processes [11]. Alpha-tocopherol inhibits the activity of protein kinase C, an enzyme involved in cell proliferation and differentiation in smooth muscle cells, platelets, and monocytes [13]. Vitamin-E–replete endothelial cells lining the interior surface of blood vessels are better able to resist blood-cell components adhering to this surface. Vitamin E also increases the expression of two enzymes that suppress arachidonic acid metabolism, thereby increasing the release of prostacyclin from the endothelium, which, in turn, dilates blood vessels and inhibits platelet aggregation [13].

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid, is converted by the body to the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. ALA can be derived from plant sources. It is present in high quantity in flax seed oil. It is believed that the typical American diet has too high a ratio of omega-6 fatty acids as compared to omega-3. This results in a “pro-inflammatory” chemistry of the blood with over production of the inflammatory chemical arachidonic acid. In fact, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and prednisone work by blocking the arachidonic cascade directly or along its chemical pathway. Alpha-linolenic acid is metabolized in a different way, and its presence helps to decrease inflammation. Oral omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to help dry eye signs and symptoms, so topical application promises to be even more beneficial.

Calendula, also known as marigold, has been widely used on the skin to treat minor wounds, skin infections, burns, bee stings, sunburn, warts, and cancer. Most scientific evidence regarding its effectiveness as a wound-healing agent is based on animal and laboratory study, while human research is lacking. Though human studies are incomplete, the long track record, the wide-spread use in the alternative medical community, and the low risk of adverse reactions made this a natural addition to the TLC ointment. It should help to decrease inflammation of the lid and eye surface.

Glycerin is a byproduct of fat saponification, and has been used to produce soaps for over one hundred years. It is soluble in water. In low concentrations it is well tolerated on the surface of the eye, and is used in several commercial artificial tear preparations. It has a “hygroscopic” quality. This means it can draw and hold water. The presence of low concentration glycerin in TLC is intended to improve the tear film.

The information above for the vitamins and alpha-linolenic acid is from the National Institute of Health, and can be found at ods.od.nih.gov. Information for calendula can be found at medlineplus.gov.