For Your Eyes Only

Genetics plays a big role in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of vision loss among older Americans.

Luckily, there are ways to lower the risk through diet.Recently the National Institutes of Health slightly changed its recommendations regarding a combination of vitamins and minerals recommended to protect against AMD.

About two million Americans have advanced AMD and another eight million are at risk, according to the NIH.Millions of Americans are already taking high daily doses of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and the minerals zinc and copper. Earlier studies showed that that formula – known as the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation – could significantly cut the risk for AMD.

Now the NIH is recommending replacing the beta-carotene with the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both found in leafy greens such as kale, spinach and broccoli. This is based on a new study that found that making the change improved the protective power of the formula.

Looking at participants in the study, researchers found that the revised formula reduced the risk of AMD by about 18 percent compared to the previous formula. For those individuals who prior to the study didn’t get a lot of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet, the change had an even greater beneficial effect, cutting the risk of AMD by as much as 25 percent.

  • Nancy

    REcently I had an appointment with my Opthamalogist and was told that my prescription hadn’t changed. I am 76 years old and have been ingesting an egg yolk avery day for the past year.

  • Nancy, do you eat much fish? Adding fish to your diet can really make a difference.

  • jill

    Stargardts. My daughter and myself have stargardts. My daughter is now pregnant so we are very interested in any research and information we could have. We wold be more than happy to share our story, time and DNA to help in this research. I am finding no history of this in my family otherwise. My self and my family have traced our family back seven generations. I intend to make this information available to future family members who are looking into genetic diseases that could be passed down.