Macular Degeneration Vitamins

Macular Degeneration Vitamins

Millions of men and women from around the world need to take macular degeneration vitamins on a daily basis to aid in the reduction of vision loss due to age related macular degeneration. AMD is a progressive eye disease which affects the macula– a tiny area in the back of the retina– which is responsible for crisp, central vision.  AMD is currently the leading cause of legal blindness in people over the age of 55 and it has been estimated that tens of millions of people will be affected worldwide over the next couple of decades. The increased prevalence is mainly due to the aging population of the baby boomers.

2 Forms of AMD:

The most prevalent form of age related macular degeneration is the dry form, which equates to 90% of new cases diagnosed annually. If left untreated, then the dry form may become the more advanced wet form, which is usually treated with injections into the eyeball.

The dry form has no prescription medicines available at this time and as a matter of fact the National Eye Institute of the US National Institutes of Health completed two of the largest studies on age related eye disease called AREDS and AREDS 2. They found that supplementing your diet with an ocular supplement on a daily basis, which contained very specific items can slow the progression of dry macular degeneration. The National Eye Institute’s Director reported dietary supplementation is the only way to decrease risk of vision loss for people with AMD.

NEI director Dr. Paul A. Sieving, reported at the time, “At present, the only established way to decrease the risk of vision loss in people with large drusen is to take daily supplements of vitamins and minerals as used in the NEI-supported Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).”

This “gold standard” of treatment set forth by the National Eye Institute means that individuals suffering from the dry form are told by their retinal specialists to take macular degeneration vitamins on a daily basis. In addition to taking a powerful dietary supplement for macular degeneration, it is also recommended to eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables, quit smoking, protect your eyes when in sunlight by wearing a large brimmed hat or proper eye protection, exercise moderately, and get regular eye exams.

The Essential 7:

The National Eye Institute concluded their groundbreaking AREDS 2 study in around 2013 and reported their results soon after, which identified the main vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that slow the progression of age related macular degeneration.

The main six items found beneficial included vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and copper. One interesting note is that an earlier study found that people with lower levels of lycopene — a carotenoid similar to lutein and zeaxanthin– were more likely to suffer from central vision deterioration (like people who suffer from macular degeneration).

This seventh item, Lycopene, is a beneficial item that is found in tomatoes and has also been linked to improved cardiovascular function when taken as a dietary supplement.

Some macular degeneration vitamins like Preserve Mac Forte Advanced have made these “essential 7” items available in their vitamin formulation.

The AREDS 2 study, which stands for Age Related Eye Disease Study, led to a recommendation of replacing beta-caroten with lutein and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene was originally included in the first AREDS study and was made part of the AREDS formula. However, upon completion of the next study, AREDS 2, beta-carotene was removed from the formulation because earlier studies linked it to an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers and former smokers.

This is why AREDS 2 formulations should contain lutein and zeaxanthin with zero beta-carotene.

Lutein in Macular Degeneration Supplements:

In addition, the best macular degeneration vitamins should contain FloraGLO™ lutein, which is the form studied in AREDS 2. If you are currently taking a vitamin for macular degeneration and the label does not specifically state “FloraGLO” lutein, then it is an inferior product.

FloraGLO™ lutein is five times more bioavailable than cheap lutein. This means that it is more easily absorbed by the body, which leads to better protection for your eyes and vision. AREDS 2 also recommends 10mg of lutein on a daily basis.

There are several supplements for macular degeneration that contain more lutein than the recommended 10mg, however, this could be toxic and more studies need to be conducted on the maximum dosage of daily lutein that is safe for consumers.

At the 2013 Macular Carotenoids Conference the keynote lecture called “A report on AREDS 2,” was delivered by the deputy clinical director at the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, who oversaw the AREDS 2 study, and she said that taking more than 10mg of lutein may be TOXIC! This is why it is still recommended to take no more than 10mg of lutein daily.

Zeaxanthin for Macular Degeneration Vitamins:

Zeaxanthin has gained much popularity since AREDS 2. It is pronounced (zee-Uh-zan-thin) and is a carotenoid and is a closely related cousin of lutein. These items are found in high concentrations in the retina and filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light, which help protect the healthy cells of the eye.

5:1 Rule for Macular Degeneration Eye Vitamins

The best eye vitamins for macular degeneration should contain the proper ratio of lutein to zeaxanthin. The proper ratio is 5:1. This means that your macular degeneration vitamins should contain 5 parts lutein to 1 part zeaxanthin. If you are taking proper macular degeneration vitamins, then this would read as 10mg of lutein and 2mg of zeaxanthin on the products label.

When using eye vitamins to treat macular degeneration be sure to use a product that contains the “essential 7,” includes FloraGLO lutein, follows the correct 5 to 1 ratio of lutein and zeaxanthin and preferably has additional items to support ocular health and whole body wellness.

Additional Resource For Macular Degeneration Vitamins:

Preserve Mac Forte Advanced is a well-known and trusted dietary ocular supplement that was created by a U.S. licensed physician after he was diagnosed with age related macular degeneration. It adheres to all the important criteria described above and can be found on the Internet.

Macular degeneration vitamins.