Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)
Age-related eye disease study is a randomized placebo controlled clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute. It studied 3,600 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 for an average of 6.3 years.
Antioxidants Reduce the Risk for Progression of Macular Degeneration
Research indicates that taking a combination of antioxidants, zinc, and copper decrease the progression of macular degeneration by about 25% as found in the AREDS trial. At present, AREDS vitamins are the first line of defense against the progression of macular degeneration along with a healthy diet.
A healthy diet which includes eating dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and etc. has been shown to be beneficial in helping decrease the progression of macular degeneration. Eating fish with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon is beneficial in reducing the progression of macular degeneration.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA from fatty fish (salmon and mackerel) contribute in protecting the vascular system and retina. In several studies, the intake of fatty fish one to three times a week can significantly reduce the incidence of macular degeneration. It also reduces the rates of mortality from all causes including cardiac and CVA (stroke).
Luteins can Provide Protection from Macular Degeneration
Studies have shown that taking a supplement containing luteins can help protect the retina. Luteins have been shown to increase the retinal pigment epithelial density.
Zinc has been found to enhance the immune system. Some new studies have found that zinc may actually increase the risk in macular degeneration. Many companies are reducing the amount of zinc in their vitamins.
Zeaxanthin is thought to protect the macula from oxidative stress due to light exposure.
Vision Improvement with Taking Nutritional Supplements
There have been some smaller studies that have shown some vision improvement with taking nutritional supplements.
You can reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration and help with cardiovascular disease by eating a healthy diet containing dark green vegetables, fatty fish, and taking antioxidant supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids.