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What Vitamin Helps With Macular Degeneration

Why Diet Is Important

Diet for Macular Degeneration | Macular Degeneration Vitamins

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, unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging. 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 Best Macular Degeneration Vitamins

Have you been diagnosed with macular degeneration? Youre far from alone, as its estimated that almost 11 million people in the United States suffer from this disease. While scientists are working on finding a cure, they arent quite there yet. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent and holistically treat age-related macular degeneration . It all starts with ensuring your eyes get the nutrients they need. Specifically, you should add macular degeneration vitamins that contain the nutrients best suited to treat this disease.

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.

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About Thiamine/vitamin B1 Dietary Supplements

Thiamine/vitamin B1 is provided in food in small amounts as a water-soluble nutrient. The best diets only provide 1.0 to 2.0 milligrams of thiamine. There is only ~30 milligrams of thiamine stored in the body which will last only 18 days if totally deprived of this nutrient. To ensure human populations receive adequate intakes of thiamine, flour is fortified. According to US Department of Agriculture data, 81.6% of the American population consume an adequate amount of thiamine/vitamin B1.

But public health authorities overlook the problem of absorption. Refined sugars, alcohol, refined carbohydrates , as well as coffee and tea, block the absorption of thiamine. Chronic use of antacids or diuretics and the lack of stomach acid also block or impair vitamin B1 absorption. Tobacco use impairs cellular use of thiamine. Tobacco use is also a risk factor for macular degeneration as is alcohol.

This is why the more soluble vitamin B1, benfotiamine, was developed. Doses of benfotiamine are high to overcome absorption problems. However the maximum amount of thiamine that can be absorbed by a single oral dose of thiamine hydrochloride ranges from 4.8 to 8.3 milligrams.

Almost all multivitamins provide economical forms of vitamin B1 in water-soluble form that convert in the body to the active from of the vitamin, thiamine pyrophosphate.

Regardless of dosage, side effects are generally not reported with thiamine supplements at any dosage. Thiamine can be taken with any drugs.

Lutein And Zeaxanthin: Natures Colorful Antioxidants

Vitamins for Macular Degeneration to support healthy vision

Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants in the carotenoid familya group of naturally occurring, fat-soluble pigments found in plantsthat play a key role in our the health of our eyes. Carotenoids are the red, orange and yellow plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. All fruits and vegetables contain varying concentrations of carotenoids. But their colors are often covered up by green chlorophyll contained in the plant.

Lutein is found in spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, leeks, peas, egg yolks, tomatoes, carrots, marigold flowers, and fruits. Zeaxanthin is found in corn, kale, mustard greens, spinach, egg yolk, orange peppers, collard greens, lycii berry fruit, green algae spirulina and other types of commercially produced algae.

Lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the macula, the prominent, bright yellow spot in the center of the retina that allows you to clearly distinguish fine detail.

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Surgery With Lens Replacement

The lens of the eye works closely with the retina. The lens focuses the light that enters the eye, making sure that the light hits the retina in just the right place.

Some surgeons are experimenting with lens therapies for macular degeneration, thinking that making the lens work better might make the damage easier to move past.

During surgery, according to Mayo Clinic, surgeons insert a new lens that has the ability to magnify the field of vision. This allows the eye to use healthy parts of the macula when viewing an image, even without turning the head. More retinal cells are exposed to the light moving through the eye, which allows undamaged cells to take over for their damaged counterparts.

This surgery is not designed to halt the progression of macular degeneration, but it can help to make life with the disorder better.

As authors writing in Vision Aware explain, people prior to surgery may see only a black hole where a face should be. After surgery, they may be able to see eyes and a nose on the face in front of them. That shift may be small, but it may allow the person to recognize loved ones as well as read their facial expressions.

This is a new therapy for macular degeneration, and as researchers writing in Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmologypoint out, more research must be done before these lenses can be recommended for everyone. Since the lenses are so new, there is no real data about how well they work over the long term.

Get Your Vitamins Through Your Food

In general, its best to eat a diet with a full complement of nutrition to ensure you arent vitamin-deficient. Thats true not only for your eye health, but also for your overall health.

For example, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, mustard greens and others offer many of the vitamins and nutrients that are good for eye health.

Likewise, if you want to boost your omega-3 intake, you can find it in fatty fish and many types of nuts and seeds. Sprinkle nuts and seeds onto your salads or eat them as snacks to get a quick boost of nutrients.

Carrots are also high in vitamin A, which is important in retina metabolism. To reap the benefits, get your daily dose of vitamin A by munching on carrots during your busy day.

But beyond vitamin A, carrots dont hold any magical properties for eye health, says Dr. Gans. That may come as a surprise if you were told growing up that rabbits never wear glasses.

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Vitamins For Macular Degeneration Can They Help

Early macular degeneration treatment consists of regular eye exams, a healthydiet, exercise, and quitting smoking1.

As a result, many of the risk factors for AMD are linked to poor nutrition andoxidative stress 2. People abovethe age of 60, those with family members who have the disease, and Caucasians are atincreased risk, too. Other thingslike smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure can also increase yourrisk1,3.

Here, we take a look at the role of vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidantnutrients in whether they can help preventAMD. Can supplements reduce the risk of disease progression and visionloss?1

Q: Are There Any Risks Associated With Taking Supplements

Macular Degeneration Supplements


As always, before making major changes to any daily healthcare routine, including starting to take supplements, you should consult with a trusted healthcare professional.

Some vitamins can cause toxicity if not taken properly, and certain health conditions may be negatively affected by some vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in supplements.

For instance, although beta carotene is recommended as a helpful addition to your diet to protect against macular degeneration, these supplements can significantly increase the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke.

Vitamin A toxicity can result in blurred vision, headaches and dry skin, while vitamin E toxicity can make it harder for your body to absorb other vitamins and minerals, increase bleeding and cause gallbladder and liver problems.

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How Vitamin A Can Impact Your Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is a condition that affects your vision and is the number one reason for vision loss today.

This condition affects more than 10 million Americans and at this present time, is considered to be an incurable eye disease.

Macular Degeneration begins as the deterioration of the middle portion of the retina, which is the part of our eye that records everything that we see and is also responsible for sending them to the optic nerve to the brain.

What Other Supplements Can Prevent Macular Degeneration

Vitamin A and other supplements have proven themselves to be key in the treatment of Macular Degeneration. The other supplements play a big part in the reduction as well. The vitamins need to include not only vitamin A, but vitamins C and E as well. Zine and Copper make themselves known in the ingredients of these supplements as well.

Vitamin C is not only beneficial to your immune system but for your eyes as well. This supplement helps your body to form and keep up connective tissues like collagen that is found inside the cornea of your eyes. Vitamin C is also responsible for healthy blood vessels, which include the ones inside of your retina.

Vitamin C is known to help stop the forming and actually reduce the effects of macular degeneration. Humans cannot product vitamin C themselves, so we have to get this supplement from another outlet somehow, usually through dietary means.

There are several different food options that have really optimal amounts of Vitamin C inside of them, including sweet red peppers, strawberries, orange juice, broccoli, and sweet green peppers. Vitamin C is also found in other citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, and green, leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep the membranes of different cells in shape so they can defend the body against damage caused by free radicals. These metabolic by-products are really harmful to the body. The E in vitamin E stands for eight compounds that are crucial to the supplements makeup.

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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

Absorption And Bioavailability Of Nutrients And Antioxidants

Vitamins for Macular Degeneration to support healthy vision

Bioavailability is defined as the proportion of any ingested substance or nutrient that absorbed and entered the circulation system for normal physiological functions . It differs from bioaccessibility, which is the quantity of the ingested nutrient that is available for absorption . It is useful to be able to predict the bioavailability of a specific nutrient asnutrient or antioxidant absorption is closely related to the bioavailability of the specific nutrient or antioxidant. A nutrient that is highly bioavailable has a high absorption rate.

Many factors affect nutrient and antioxidant absorption such as stress, alcohol consumption, caffeine and drug intakes, and exercise. Absorption of nutrients and antioxidants is also dependent on the therapeutic doses. As reported in the literature, the increased amount of antioxidant intake reduced the absorption efficiency of antioxidants. For example, the absorption efficiency of lycopene was higher during the low dose intake than the high dose intake . Another study also showed that an equal dose of zeaxanthin had a lower absorption than lutein . In addition, heat stress could reduce nutrient absorption, thus reducing the absorption efficiency .

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Monitoring Vision And Regular Eye Examinations

It is important if you are diagnosed with early AMD to monitor your vision for changes. Your optometrist can advise you how you can do this.

Having regular eye examinations are an important health check for your eyes and will also allow your optometrist to monitor for any changes if you have AMD. Your optometrist will be able to tell you how often you need an eye examination.


Being diagnosed with an eye condition can be very upsetting. You may find that you are worried about the future and how you will manage with a change in your vision. Were here to support you every step of the way, and to answer any questions you may have just get in touch with our Sight Loss Advice Service.

If you have experienced sight loss, there are things you can do to make the most of your remaining vision. This may mean making things bigger or smaller, using brighter lighting or using colour to make things easier to see. A low vision assessment can explore how to make the most of your sight. Your GP, optometrist or ophthalmologist can refer you to your local low vision service for an assessment. You can also find out tips for making the most of your sight by downloading our guide:

You should also ask whether you are eligible to register as sight impaired or severely sight impaired . Registration can act as your passport to expert help and sometimes to financial concessions. Even if you arent registered a lot of this support is still available to you.

The Ignored Vitamin Cure For Macular Degeneration

If you want to avert the development of a sight-robbing disease called macular degeneration you are going to have to step outside modern medicine. Eye doctors only have treatment but no prevention for this dastardly eye disease that robs senior adults of their central vision for reading, driving and watching TV.

Dont both your eye doctor about this proposed vitamin cure for macular degeneration. Your eye doctor will demand a controlled human study before he/she prescribes a vitamin. There are no published human studies to confirm its safety and effectiveness and none are planned. So, it is unproven . You will just have to endure slow progressive loss of vision and hope you dont develop the fast-progressive form , which requires monthly needle injections directly into your eye to avoid permanent loss of vision.

The National Eye Institute promotes a multi-nutrient formula called the AREDS formula that barely slows the progression of this disease . The AREDS formula does not benefit patients with early macular degeneration.

This eye disease is age-related, striking a significant portion of senior adults and robbing them of independent living in their retirement years. What is the initiating factor that brings on this devastating eye disease that robs older adults of their central vision?

Numerous researchers conclude that oxygen deprivation is the starting point for dry macular degeneration:

Ischemia may play a central role . Progress in Retinal Eye Research Sept. 1999

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Gamma Tocopherol And Vitamin E

Gamma tocopherol and vitamin E have been shown to reduce cataract risk by up to 56 percent, whereas a low level increases cataract risk and increases photooxidation.41

For more information about vitamin E and tocopherols, visit this article: Get the Straight Facts on Vitamin E Tocopherols

Also, the National Eye Institute Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin E, 500 mg vitamin C, 15 mg beta-carotene and 80 mg zinc oxide slows the progression of macular degeneration by about 25 percent.

Consuming A Healthy Diet With Specific Nutritional Supplements May Reduce Your Risk Of Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration Prevention | Macular Degeneration Vitamins

Macular degeneration can be a devastating eye condition, resulting in significant vision loss and even blindness if not diagnosed and treated in time.

Although macular degeneration is primarily caused by our genetics and DNA, there is some evidence that maintaining good health and nutrition may play a role in preventing the development or progression of the disease.

Here are our top 6 FAQs about nutrition and macular health:

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