Alternatives to BioTears Supplemement for Dry Eyes

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. 6 January 2020

Alternatives to BioTears Supplemement for Dry Eyes

BioTears is a dietary supplement that can help with the symptoms of dry eye. It is made from a company called Biosyntrx and has been used by dry eye suffers for many years. I remember starting to recommend BioTears to patients back in the early 2000s. Recently, BioTears has not been available for purchase. For people that have used BioTears for years, this has created quite a stir.  

I have had many patients/people contacting me, asking where to buy BioTears? In fact, I have tried to contact Biosytrx to see if it is going to be in stock soon. I do think they are a good company with high values and will be reformulating soon.  

Because of all the emails and concerns about the lack of BioTears, I have decided to write this blog. Before I get too far ahead of myself, I have to put in the disclaimer… this is not meant for medical advice but for educational purposes…

In the meantime, I am sure those of you that have been using BioTears are wondering:

  • Where did BioTears go?
  • Why did BioTears work so well?
  • What can I take to replace BioTears until they are back in stock?

Where Did BioTears Go?

Well, I am certainly no private detective. But I have been looking into why the BioTears is not currently available. It is technically on backorder from the company. And the company, Biosyntryx, says they are reformulating the product to be available mid-Jan. I will be sure to let you know when they are back in stock. But in the meantime, until BioTears is available again, I have some suggestions below.    

Why Did BioTears Work So Well?

BioTears was formulated to help support people with dry eye syndrome. If you have ever suffered from dry eye, then I am sure you can understand. There are not a lot of great options for chronic dry eye. Dry eye itself is not only painful but can cause a lot of other symptoms. Such as redness of the sclera. I have had many patients complain that the redness from their dry eye is embarrassing. 

In fact, I had one patient that works at her local DMV. She was worried that her dry eye condition made her look like she was smoking pot. I assured her that this was not the first thing I would think of upon seeing her red eyes. Needless to say, eye redness was a concern for her. Don’t forget about the constant tearing from the dry eye. If you have dry eye, make sure you only wear waterproof makeup. While it sounds like an oxymoron, dry eye can cause chronic tearing. Dry eye can also cause intermittent blurry vision, light sensitivity, and can make it difficult to wear contacts.   

BioTears is not a topical eye lubricant. It is not drops that you put in your eye. It is a dietary supplement that can help with tear film and moisture of the mucus membranes. 

The essential fatty acids, specifically GLA, can be helpful for dry eye conditions. GLA stands for gamma-linolenic acid. GLA has many properties, but one of them is to help reduce inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of GLA can specifically help the mucous membranes such as the eye. This anti-inflammatory and lubricating effect of GLA can also help other mucous membranes, such as vaginal and oral/mouth membranes. GLA is commonly found in black currant and borage oil.  

Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) is another anti-inflammatory helpful in supporting dry eye. Flaxseed is one of the main sources for alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Alpha-linolenic acid is anti-inflammatory because it is supposed to convert to EPA and DHA. The presence of zinc assists in the conversion of Alpha-Linolenic Acid to EPA and DHA. GLA is the main anti-inflammatory helper for dry eye. Which means, flaxseed alone (LA) will not be as helpful for dry eye symptoms. 

In a dry eye formulation, make sure there is GLA from borage oil and/or black currant as well as the other omega-3 fatty acids. 

I do think it is nice to have a formulation that has both GLA and LA components.  

Vitamin A is also incredibly important in helping with dry eye syndrome. Vitamin A is not easily found in our typical diets. Beta carotene is supposed to convert to vitamin A, but the conversion rate can be limited. 

Sources of real vitamin A are organ meats such as liver and kidney. There are smaller amounts in eggs and some dairy products. I don’t know about you, but you will not find me gorging myself on liver and kidney organs. That is why vitamin A supplementation is so important. 

Any dry eye support supplements should always have some true vitamin A in it. The reason you do not find vitamin A in many supplements is because there is a controversy in taking real vitamin A relating to pregnancy. 

With dry eye, don’t forget about the omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). While I really believe the GLA and vitamin A are the most important in supporting dry eye. We must not forget about the omega-3 fatty acids. 

Like the GLA, omega-3 fatty acids are great at helping to reduce inflammation and maintain mucous membrane integrity. Making omega-3 fatty acids an essential part in a formulation for dry eye support. 

This is where dosing becomes very important. As too little omega-3 fatty acids will not make a dent in helping dry eye. In a dry eye formulation, you want to make sure the EPA/DHA (which is the omega-3 fatty acids) is at least around 1000 mg.

What can I take to replace BioTears until they are back in stock?

While we are waiting on Biosyntrx to get BioTears back in stock, there are options in the meantime.  

There are two options that I think are equivalent to the BioTears for dry eye support. And I have used these options for my patients.

The main important takeaways for a dry eye formulation:

GLA (gamma-linolenic acid): anti-inflammatory for the mucous membranes and helping in membrane integrity. The form of black currant oil and/or borage oil are the best sources for GLA. The total you want no less than 100mg and ideal at 300mg. 

Vitamin A: You want real vitamin A, not beta carotene. Skip if you are pregnant or have liver disease… but ideally, you want at least 5,000 IU to help support dry eye. Vitamin A helps with mucosal integrity by maintaining IgA levels (fancy work for mucosal immunity).  

ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid): Anti-inflammatory by its conversion to EPA and DHA. ALA is mainly found in flaxseeds and walnuts. Ideally, you want at least 200 mg of ALA/flaxseed. 

Omega-3 fatty acids (aka EPA/DHA): This is anti-inflammatory to the overall system and especially to the mucous membranes. Like I mentioned above, the dose is important. Try to get in at least 1000 mg of EPA/DHA total for help in supporting dry eye.  

These two supplements are comparable to price with the BioTears and have all the supporting nutrients for dry eye help.  

MaxiTears by Maxi Vision (runs about 30-35$ for one month taking 4 capsules a day)

Two capsules twice a day (four capsules a day) will equal:

  • Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) 1000 mg
  • Omega 3 fatty acids 1100 mg
  • Flaxseed and ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) 198mg
  • Borage and GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid) 120mg

Dry Eye Care by Patient One (runs about 20-25$ for one month taking 4 capsules a day)

Two capsules twice a day (four capsules a day) will equal:

  • Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate and beta carotene) 3000 mg
  • Omega 3 fatty acids 1600 mg
  • Flaxseed (LA) 500 mg
  • Black currant and borage 422.5 mg (this is the best form of GLA)

Let’s compare these alternatives to BioTears

BioTears by Biosyntrx (runs about 30-40$ for one month taking four capsules a day)

Two capsules twice a day (four capsules a day) will equal

  • Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) 12000mg
  • A proprietary blend of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA) 1604 mg

Vitamin A: You can see both the MaxiTears and the Dry Eye Formula has vitamin A. For dry eye support, I like about 1000mg of vitamin A in the form of retinyl palmitate. Both BioTears and the Dry Eye Formula has a mix of beta carotene and retinyl palmitate. While they do not break down how much of each is in the blend. It is safe to assume that both the BioTears and Dry Eye Formula has sufficient amounts of true vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) for supporting dry eye symptoms.  

Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA/EPA/DHA): All three of these products (MaxiTears, Dry Eye Formula, and BioTears) have Omega 3 fatty acids. All three of these products have the ideal amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Like I mentioned above, to really support dry eye symptoms, you need no less than 1000 mg. Although BioTears has a blend of GLA and omega-3 fatty acids (1604 mg). Because of their reputation and how well it has worked for people suffering from dry eye. It too is safe to assume there is at least 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per four capsules.  

Gamma-Linolenic Acid:

One of the main ingredients in BioTears is Gamma-linolenic Acid. It helps reduce inflammation associated with dry eye and helps to maintain membrane integrity. The main sources of GLA are black currant and borage oil.

I hope this article helps anyone that is scrambling to find an alternative to BioTears to help with their dry eye symptoms. As I said, there are many people that have contacted me to help with finding out what happened to BioTears and what they can do about it. Until BioTears is available, I hope these alternatives can help you with your symptoms of dry eye.

If you are interested in purchases MaxiTears or Dry Eye Care, you can purchase them on my website. Use the code: DRYEYE for 20% off. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to reach out, we love feedback!


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Deb Cooper

Dr. Davidson

Thank you!!!! Your Article was very helpful. I could not find a date on your blog – I got to it via a Google search – but I’m hoping it is relatively current (i.e. as of Jan 2020) since the page is data 2020. This is at least the second time I’ve had problems with BioTears being unavailable…. I believe the last time was less than a year ago…. Because of the cost I always order at least 3-4 bottles to get free shipping. Those usually last me about 8 months (I only take 2 a day)…. so maybe it’s been more recent? I hope the company can sort their issues, because like your patients I’ve been using it for years and it really helps!!! If I miss a day, I notice!
Anyway, yes, please let me know when it’s available again.

Deb Cooper

Your blog mentioned that you had Dry Eye Care by Patient One available to order from you web site, but I can’t find it. It doesn’t come up when I choose Dry Eye products, only BioTears, Ez Tears and the other item you mentioned Maxi Tears. Do you have Dry Eye? If so how do I find it to order it with your discount.
Thank you.

Deb Cooper

Thank you!

Deb Cooper

Can you keep me posted to when BioTears will be available again?
Thank you

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