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9. Optic Nerve
Vitamins and AMD
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Following are the results of a recent
study on Age-Related Macular Degeneration at
Is New Preventive Measure:
"There are no other proven options for early intervention," Dr. Susan Bressler says in the coming February edition of the Johns Hopkins medical letter, Health After 50.
Vitamin E intake of 400 milligrams, together with Vitamin C, beta carotene, and small amounts of zinc and copper oxides, reduces the likelihood of disease progression by 25 percent in patients with intermediate age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, the research has determined.
"Supplementation with this formulation also reduced the risk of vision loss by 19 percent over five years in these patients," the Johns Hopkins publication reported.
Until now, there has been no proven treatment to slow the progression of disease and possible vision loss in people with dry AMD, the most common form of the condition, Dr. Bressler said.
Major clinical trials of the Vitamin E and other supplementation started two years ago, and a follow-up report was published recently in the Archives of Ophthalmology. Researchers concluded in the report that "if every American with intermediate AMD took these vitamins and minerals, more than 300,000 people could avoid AMD-associated vision loss over the next five years."
More than 1.6 million Americans over age 60 have age-related macular degeneration,
which is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness in the
SOURCE Foods for the Future
In a major study of over 3,000 patients with age-related macular degeneration, the "Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group", funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found that large doses of antioxidants plus zinc delayed progression of ARMD. Eye doctors at 11 research centers measured and assessed retinal photos and measured visual acuity in high risk groups of patients with ARMD who received one of the following;
1. Antioxidants (500mg vitamin C; 400 IU Vitamin E; and 15 mg beta carotene) alone,
2. Zinc (80 mg as zinc oxide and copper, 2 mg as cupric oxide) alone,
3. Antioxidants plus zinc (both as listed above),
4. placebo (sugar pill).
The results showed that patients that received the antioxidants plus zinc had a reduction in the rate of loss of visual acuity. No significant side effects were observed. It is concluded that if you're older than 55, have intermediate or advanced ARMD, and are without contraindications (such as smoking), that you should consider taking supplemental antioxidants plus zinc to reduce the progression of the disease. See your eye doctor to see if you're a candidate for such therapy. (Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 119, oct, 2001, p1417-1436)
Also see article on this page about Vitamin E and treatment of macular degeneration.
2008 OLERF Annual Report (PDF file)