Is It Possible To Reverse Amd Through Diet And Vitamins
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye condition that affects over 15 million Americans. The disease attacks the macula of the eye, which is responsible for the central field of vision. AMD causes partial blindness and can take away the ability to drive, read and recognize faces. Though the exact cause of AMD isnt known, its believed that a variety of factors age, smoking, obesity and family history can put a person more at risk.
If you have been diagnosed with AMD, you might be wondering if there are any ways that you can reverse damage or prevent more from occurring. Lets find out.
What We Know About Preventing and Treating AMD
At this time, there is no known cure for AMD. Be wary of supplements or cures for macular degeneration, as no one has the complete answer. The good news is that scientific research supports that diet and nutrition can promote good eye health. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can make a difference, and its never too late to start.
Here is what we know so far.
People who eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables have a lower incidence of AMD.
Dark, green leafy vegetables are most helpful for protecting eye health.
People who eat three servings of fish each week have a lower rate of AMD.
People who eat a lot of saturated fats have a higher rate of AMD.
Lets take a closer look at some of the things you can do to possibly reverse and further protect age-related macular degeneration.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables and Lots of Em!
What Fruit Is Good For Macular Degeneration
Vitamin C citrus fruits, berries, melons, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes.
Vitamin E vegetable oils, almonds, pistachio nuts, peanuts, wheat germ, whole grains, turnip greens, and mango.
Beta-carotene carrot, sweet potatoes, spinach, dark leafy green vegetables, melon, cantaloupe, winter squash, and .
Autonomic Control Of Blood Circulation And Thiamine
More specifically, researchers note there are dysfunctional small arteries in the blood layer are under the control of the autonomic nervous system . Bodily functions like heart rate, respiration rate, temperature control, hunger and appetite, waste elimination, and sweating are automatically controlled in the human body.
Not noted by these researchers is that thiamine/vitamin B1 is essential for proper control of the autonomic nervous system.
You May Like: What Vitamin Is Good For Pimples
Differences From Areds 1 Formula
The AREDS 1 Formula differs from the AREDS 2 Formula in that AREDS 1 contains beta carotene. Beta carotene was linked with lung cancer in smokers and former smokers. Therefore, in the AREDS 2 Formula, the beta carotene has been replaced with lutein and zeaxanthin.
If you are a smoker, or you have smoked in the past, its advisable to take the AREDS 2 Formula rather than the AREDS 1 Formula.
Beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are micronutrients called carotenoids, which are structurally similar to vitamin A. These nutrients are transported to the retina, where they are thought to protect against damage done by light.
Is Genetic Testing Helpful For Amd Are There Drawbacks
Although genetic testing is important for research purposes, the NEI does not recommend genetic testing for AMD because results cannot guide prevention or treatment decisions. AMD is a complex disease, involving many known and yet undiscovered genetic risk factors. Even when testing results are weighed with other known risk factors, such as diet and smoking status, genetic status fails to reliably predict risk. Some people with low AMD genetic risk develop severe disease. Likewise, some people with high genetic risk never get AMD.
Drawbacks of genetic testing for AMD include possible increased anxiety. For example, results that indicate high risk could cause needless worry. By contrast, results indicating low AMD risk might discourage regular eye exams and that might catch early signs of disease.
Read Also: Does Vitamin D Help Breast Growth
Ascertainment And Definition Of Arm Endpoints
Information on diagnoses of ARM made during the first seven years of the trial was requested on the 84-month questionnaire. Physicians were asked “Have you ever had macular degeneration diagnosed in your right eye?” If yes, they were requested to provide the month and year of the diagnosis. Subsequent annual questionnaires requested information on diagnoses during the preceding year. Signed permission to examine medical records pertaining to the diagnosis was requested on the questionnaires and, when necessary, in separate follow-up mailings. Ophthalmologists and optometrists were contacted by mail and requested to complete an ARM questionnaire supplying information about the date of initial diagnosis, the best-corrected visual acuity at the time of diagnosis, and the date when best-corrected visual acuity reached 20/30 or worse . Information was also requested about signs of ARM observed when visual acuity was first noted to be 20/30 or worse, and the date when exudative neovascular disease, if present, was first noted . We also asked whether there were other ocular abnormalities that would explain or contribute to visual loss and if so, whether the ARM, by itself, was significant enough to cause the best-corrected visual acuity to be reduced to 20/30 or worse. Medical records were obtained for more than 92% of participants reporting ARM.
Macular Degeneration: Can Drugs Cause This Type Of Vision Loss
Macular degeneration is a common vision problem involving damage to the retina.
The macula is the area on the retina that sends central vision images to the brain. When this area is damaged or degenerates, your central vision becomes blurry or darker. Eventually, it goes away completely. You will probably retain peripheral vision as this occurs, but peripheral vision is less focused than your central vision.
Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in adults, aged 50 and older, in the United States. AMD is more common than cataracts and glaucoma. It is rare for children or young adults to develop macular degeneration, but Stargardt macular degeneration is an inherited condition that affects about 1 in every 8,000 to 10,000 individuals.
While AMD is most closely associated with genetics and age, there are some external factors that increase the risk of developing macular degeneration or trigger the condition earlier in life. These include using blood pressure medications in the vasodilator family and smoking cigarettes.
Read Also: How Do We Get Vitamin D From The Sun
Control Your Blood Pressure And Cholesterol
Some evidence indicates that controlling cholesterol can protect you from macular degeneration. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that can build up in blood vessels, inhibiting blood flow necessary for maintaining health of eye tissue.
Also, blood pressure control may be important for macular degeneration prevention. Major investigations including the Framingham Heart and Eye Studies and Beaver Dam Eye Study indicate a significant link between high blood pressure and development of advanced, potentially blinding forms of macular degeneration.
Can Diet Alone Provide The Same Levels Of Antioxidants And Zinc As The Areds Or Areds2 Formulas
No. The high levels of vitamins and minerals are difficult to achieve from diet alone. However, previous studies have suggested that people who have diets rich in green, leafy vegetablesa good source of lutein and zeaxanthinhave a lower risk of developing AMD. In the AREDS2 trial, the participants who benefitted most from taking lutein + zeaxanthin were those who did not get much of these nutrients in their diet. Within this group, those who received lutein/zeaxanthin supplements had a 26% reduced risk of developing advanced AMD compared with those who did not receive the supplements.
Don’t Miss: What Does Vitamin C Help With Your Body
Do Macular Degeneration Patients Have Beriberi
Beriberi is the name of the disease symptoms that emanates from a frank deficiency of thiamine/vitamin B1. Oxygen deprivation due to poor transport of oxygen in thiamin-deficient individuals could theoretically produce abnormalities simultaneously throughout the body. However, certain organs and tissues are better protected from thiamine deficiency and therefore other organs may exhibit symptoms of thiamine shortage without resulting in the classic and severe symptoms of beriberi the overt vitamin deficiency disease, characterized by pain , loose stool, abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure, involuntary eye movement, paralysis, shortness of breath with activity, swelling in lower legs, loss of muscle control, difficulty speaking, and other autonomic system disorders.
Adverse Effects Of Antioxidants
Scientifically, many nutrients obtained from foods are potent antioxidants. Some of these naturally occurring antioxidants such as anthocyanins and carotenoids have strong antioxidant abilities. Although these antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds, they might be nephrotoxic due to overconsumption. Synthetic antioxidants could also pose potential adverse health effects. Therefore, the right dose of antioxidant in dietary intake is key in the prevention of many diseases such as eye-related diseases. Hence, the intake of large doses of certain antioxidants or overdoses could be harmful and increase the risk of inflammatory disease such as cancer . Therefore, a guide to antioxidant intake is essential for prevention of diseases and maintaining good health without adverse health effect or toxicity issues. In this review, tolerable upper intake levels and recommended daily intakes of vitamins and minerals for the prevention of macular degeneration and eye-related complications are shown in .
Also Check: Is It Healthy To Take Vitamins Everyday
What Is The Risk Of Lung Cancer From Taking Beta
In the AREDS2 trial, current smokers or those who had quit smoking less than a year before enrollment were excluded from receiving beta-carotene. Despite this precaution, lung cancers were observed in 2% of participants who took an AREDS formulation with beta-carotene, compared with 0.9% of participants who took AREDS without beta-carotene. Across both groups, about 91% of participants who developed lung cancer were former smokers.
Is Vitamin E Good For Macular Degeneration
vitamin Emacular degenerationdiseasevitamin Evitaminvitamin
. Also know, is it bad to get vitamin E in your eyes?
Vitamin E. Research has shown that vitamin E, found in nuts, fortified cereals and sweet potatoes, can protect cells of the eyes from damage. This damage is caused by unstable molecules called free radicals, which break down healthy eye tissue.
Also, what foods should be avoided with macular degeneration?
- Eating right can help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
- Avoid highly processed snack foods such as cakes, cookies, potato chips.
- Avoid partially hydrogenated fats, especially coconut oils.
- Eat a diet low in fat.
Considering this, what is the best vitamin for macular degeneration?
The AREDS2 Formula
- zinc oxide 80mg or 25mg , and.
- cupric oxide 2mg.
Is vitamin E oil good for under eyes?
Vitamin E OilVitamin E helps fight the effect of free radicals that cause signs of aging like wrinkles. Before bed at night, apply a drop of oil to your dark under eye circles, gently massaging it into the skin. Leave this on your skin overnight and in the morning, rinse with warm water.
Also Check: What’s The Best Vitamin For Energy
Why Diet Is Important
Diet is important because certain nutrients protect the body from damaging substances called oxidants.
Oxidants are thought to be partly responsible for the ageing process. In the eye they may contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration by speeding up cell degeneration.
Antioxidants reduce this harmful effect. Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants. Carotenoids are also effective against oxidants. Lutein and zeaxanthin are important carotenoids. Many of these substances can only be obtained from food.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow plant pigments which give certain foods their colour. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in the macula. Another carotenoid, meso-zeaxanthin, is formed in the body from lutein.
These three carotenoids are known as macular pigment. They are thought to play an important role in absorbing damaging blue wavelengths of light. They act as a natural sunblock for the macula and can counteract the effects of free radicals. Some studies have suggested that people with low levels of macular pigment may be more likely to develop AMD. Some people may have naturally low levels of macular pigment, but weight and diet may also be factors.
While it is important to eat a wide range of foods, the vegetables that have the highest amount of lutein are:
Lutein in vegetables milligrams /100g Kale 11.4 mgBroccoli 3.3 mgPeas 1.7 mg
The below video explains the importance of nutrition.
How Do I Live With Vision Loss From Amd
Not everyone with AMD develops late AMD or gets it in both eyes. But if you do, living with vision loss from AMD can be challenging. Having low vision means that even with glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, your vision loss makes it hard to do everyday tasks.
The good news is, there are things that can help like low vision devices and vision rehab services. Vision rehab can help you learn the skills you need to stay independent and active with low vision.
Read Also: What Is The Purest Form Of Vitamin C
Recommendations For Areds 2 Formula
The AREDS 2 vitamins are recommended for those with over a certain number of drusen noted by the ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist checks for drusen when performing a dilated eye exam.
Those with very few drusen should not take AREDS 2 vitamins the vitamins are only recommended for those at high risk for AMD . AREDS 2 vitamins may also be recommended for those who have lost vision in at least one eye from AMD.
Eat Plenty Of Greens To Prevent Amd
Eating plenty of dark, leafy greens may help with macular degeneration prevention. A study published by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary reported that people who consumed the most vegetables rich in carotenoids had a 43 percent lower risk of AMD than those who ate these foods the least.
Carotenoid-rich vegetables include dark, leafy greens, especially raw spinach, kale and collard greens.
“In particular, a higher frequency of intake of spinach or collard greens was associated with a substantially lower risk for AMD,” the researchers said.
The authors concluded that “consumption of foods rich in certain carotenoids, in particular dark green, leafy vegetables, may decrease the risk of developing advanced or exudative AMD, the most visually disabling form of macular degeneration among older people.”
Recommended Reading: When To Take Vitamin D Morning Or Night
Are The Areds Vitamins Right For Me
In clinical trials, the AREDS and AREDS2 formulas benefited people with intermediate or late AMD. There was no benefit for people with early AMD or for people who do not have AMD.
Your primary care physician or eye care provider is in the best position to advise you on how treat your AMD. You may wish to discuss AREDS/AREDS2 supplements with your health care providers to decide which, if any, supplements are right for you.
Macular Degeneration Prevention Tips
Family members of people with macular degeneration often ask whether they should take AREDS2 vitamins or lutein/zeaxanthin. While these are safe to take over a period of at least 5 years , it is not known whether it would be safe for a number of decades. Therefore, it is recommended that family members eat foods containing high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin rather than take the supplements. These foods also contain hundreds of other phytochemicals that are likely to be helpful. Foods such as egg yolk , yellow corn, orange or yellow peppers, kale, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, grapes, zucchini, and squash have high levels of lutein and/or zeaxanthin and are thought to be protective against AMD.
Recommended Reading: What Foods Are High In Zinc And Vitamin C
What To Supplement And For How Long
If the Vitamin D levels in your blood are not optimal, you can take a supplement. Vitamin D2 is less beneficial and can be overdosed.
Vitamin D3 in liquid form is best. Each drop of Vitamin D3 Liquid by Pure Encapsulations contains 1000 IU. The typical recommendation for adults is 400 800 IU daily. For eye conditions such as macular degeneration, we recommend 5,000 IU per day, or as prescribed by your doctor. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so it may not need to be taken every day. Consult your doctor, who may prescribe a megadose on a weekly or monthly schedule. Or just take 400 1000 IU per day until quarterly bloodwork shows optimal levels. Do not stop taking the vitamin just because it is summer refer to your current bloodwork.
The Best Foods For Amd
The old maxim, Eat your carrotstheyre good for your eyes had some validity. Nutrients in carrots can help, but dark leafy green vegetables contain higher levels of nutrients that might contribute to slowing the progression of your AMD. Theyre not the only foods that may help you protect your visionand there are other foods you should avoid or eat in moderation if you want to be good to your eyes.
Whats a Good Macular Degeneration Diet?
The AMD diet includes foods that contain healthy amounts of a number of specific vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, some fish, and nuts and seedsa Mediterranean-style diet fits the bill fairly well. Just as important, the AMD diet avoids other foods that might contribute to chronic conditions associated with macular degeneration or that directly affect the eyes.
However good your diet, the National Eye Institute recommends a nutrient formula to help reduce the risk of AMD progression. Only AREDS2 formula eye vitamins contain that formula . Nevertheless, its always a good idea to get important nutrients through foods as well as supplements.
The best foods to eat for macular degeneration
Your diet should include these nutrients:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Zinc and copper
Foods to avoid with macular degeneration
- Processed foods that contain trans fats
- Tropical oils, like palm oil
- Lard and vegetable shortening, and margarine
- High-fat dairy foods
- Fatty beef, pork and lamb
Recommended Reading: How Are Vitamin D Supplements Made
What Is The Best Supplement For Macular Degeneration
The original formulation tested by AREDS included vitamin C, vitamin E,beta-carotene, zinc, and copper. In a follow-upto the study in 2013 , some modifications were tested, including theaddition of lutein, zeaxanthin, andomega-3 fatty acids, the elimination of beta-carotene, and a reduction in the amountof zinc.
The final recommendations of the AREDS researchers included: 5
- Vitamin E 400 International Units
- Vitamin C 500 mg
- Zeaxanthin 2 mg
- Lutein 10 mg
The effectiveness of the different vitamins and minerals and their suitability fordifferent people, of course, doesvary. For instance, it was discovered that beta-carotene may increase the risk oflung cancer in smokers5. It wastherefore replaced in AREDS-2 with lutein and zeaxanthin which are believed to besafer and potentially more effectivealternatives from the same class of nutrients.