Keep freshwater Fish – and drink their water – to protect from Glaucoma?

bobA recent study has found that people who have a diet higher in Nitrates are less likely to develop Glaucoma than those who do not.

Bear with me please……

My daughter and a friend caught a fish in a rock pool in Galway, and as part of the coercion to get her to return the poor creature from it’s precariously balanced, and obviously going to fall over bucket, to the rockpool, I agreed to get her a goldfish.

Parents- let them keep the poor creature in the bucket until it is dead! The goldfish have cost a serious amount of money over the past few years, though each one cost only about €3.50! She has hardly looked at the tank in months!

Having been thrown into fish-keeping, at the deep end!, I can tell you that it is a steep learning curve – whoever heard of Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate? This is the Nitrogen Cycle, where harmful fish toxins are converted to less harmful toxins by the filter in the tank (bowls are cruel – they are not big enough, and you didn’t know you definitely needed a filter, did you?) but the end product – Nitrates have to be removed by regular water changes, or a significant amount of live plants in the tank, most probably both. In the case of Goldfish, they will likely have eaten the plants before those plants get a chance to remove any Nitrate! Goldfish are usually people’s first time fish, but most definitely are not the best first time fish! They are messy and dirty creatures, but which Pet Shop will advise you of that? Betta’s are better, (or easier?), as long as you get their sex correct, else the females will be hounded to exhaustion in no time.

The end product of the Nitrogen Cycle is Nitrates, so – don’t just throw away all of those Nitrates in the tank – DRINK THE FISH WATER – it will protect you (perhaps) from developing Glaucoma – perhaps a 20 to 30% reduction?

There is another way to get Nitrate levels increased in your diet – leafy green vegetables are apparently full of the stuff – spinach, lettuce and kale, as are beets and carrots, but who would have read this post without the “Fish Hook”?


Fish keeping is a great way to de-stress, once the tank is established, but before that, you are in for a very, very stressful and tough ride! If you care about their welfare – the LAST thing to do do is purchase a fish!! (Check out the (almost) complete guide to fishless cycling, before you buy a fish!!)

Seriously, DO NOT DRINK FISH TANK WATER, I was only kidding!! – fish can harbour a good few diseases that can be passed to humans, including (rarely) TB, though it seems you will only probably get a skin infection, not more serious forms, perhaps unless you drink the water!?!

It once again shows that a balanced healthy diet and lifestyle may be the best way to prevent many common eye diseases – Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration come to mind straight away.

The full article can be read here – you may need to login or register, which is free.

Disclaimer – I don’t even know if the Nitrates (NO3-) the authors are mentioning are the same as in the tank waste water. I think so, but…..


Marine (salt water) fish, perhaps because they live in larger bodies of water, are much less tolerant to Nitrate, so the above “advice” doesn’t apply to them – the fish will be likely be dead before the Nitrates are significant, and we all know that drinking salty water is a bad idea – it will at least increase the blood pressure, which could increase the risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration.

DO NOT DRINK WATER FROM A FISH TANK!!

Local eyecare for all the family

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