Vitamin D

Vitamin D and healthy eyes

A recent study in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology concludes that high vitamin D intake reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women under 75 years of age.  This study adds to the body of knowledge on the effects of nutrition in reducing the risk of developing the disease.  Previous studies have concluded that nutrients such as anti-oxidents and carotenoids also reduce the risk of developing AMD.

AMD is the number one cause of blindness in people over 60. It destroys a person's sharp, central vision. You need central vision to see objects clearly and to do tasks such as reading and driving. AMD does not cause any pain and, in some cases, it advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others cases, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes vision loss. Currently available treatments can slow or stop vision loss but science has not yet developed a way to restore vision lost to AMD.

Here is what normal visoin looks like:

This is vision with AMD:

From the photos above, it is obvious that AMD can be disasterous to your quality of life.  Some people are more at risk than others. It is important to see your optometrist to learn about the risk factors for AMD and whether you are at risk.

Risk factors for AMD aside,  it can't hurt to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin D.  In addition to protecting against AMD, vitamin D has been linked to lower cancer risk, a stronger immune system, lower risk of multiple sclerosis, reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women and it can keep the brain functioning properly as we age.