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macular degeneration

Vitamin D for Eyes: may help prevent age-related macular degeneration!

Lynn Griffith
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Approximately, three-fourths of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in Vitamin D. (1)  Vitamin D has been studied in connection to bone health and cancer, but a team of researchers from University of Buffalo believes that this vitamin could play a critical role in protecting our eyesight! (2)

The leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. is macular degeneration.  The macula is an important part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision and allows us to see objects clearly.  In those who are diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the macula begins to atrophy. (3)

The leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. is age-related macular degeneration

Loss of vision is a terrifying experience, and if you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration or have known someone who has, it can be incredibly difficult to watch someone with this diagnosis suffer and lose their ability to do many things that they used to enjoy.  The effect of AMD is similar to a rain drop on the center of a camera lens, meaning things are blurry and distorted.(2)

New research gives hope to many that there may be something we can do to prevent AMD!  The research found that women who are deficient in vitamin D, and have a specific genotype, are 6.7 times more likely to develop the diagnosis than women with sufficient vitamin D and no genotype. (2)

New research shows that vitamin D may help prevent macular degeneration in those who have a genetic influence

This is the first study to examine the interaction between genetic risk for AMD and vitamin D status.  Researchers analyzed data on 1,230 women, ages 54 to 74.  Researchers determined vitamin D status and analyzed serum samples for vitamin D biomarker.  AMD has been strongly associated with genetics, and it is believed that people in the early stages of AMD develop drusen — lipid and protein deposits that build up in the eye.  The body identifies the drusen as a foreign substance and attacks it.  Vitamin D showed promising results at protecting against macular degeneration due to its anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties.  The study suggests that vitamin D reduces the immune response to drusen. (2)

Vitamin D may protect against macular degeneration due to its anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties

Whether or not you have a genetic risk factor for AMD, it is important to assure that you are getting enough Vitamin D3.  With winter around the corner, consider using a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement in order to assure your body is getting enough of the “sunshine vitamin.”

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.scientificamerican.com
(2) nei.nih.gov
(3) www.sciencedaily.com

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Image attributions:
 "Macular degeneration - 2008" by Harry (Howard) Potts (Featured Image)
Licensed under CC BY 4.0, images may have been modified in some way
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