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Age Related Eye Illness


A study reported by the Archives of Ophthalmology shows that vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc can reduce the risk of age related blindness. Frederick Ferris of the National Eye Institute stated that 250,000 Americans would be saved from blindness or age-related macular degeneration (AMD) if they took these supplements.Over 7 million Americans suffer this condition. 6 million have moderate AMD with almost 2 million people with advance stage.


The study group was comprised of 4,757 people between the ages of 55 and 80 years old. They were separated into 4 groups. One receiving zinc, the next receiving antioxidants, the next receiving antioxidants and zinc and the last group receiving a placebo. The antioxidants consisted of 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 IU (international units) of vitamin E, 15 milligrams of beta carotene and 80 milligrams of zinc oxide (given with copper to reduce anemia).


The subjects of the study were classified into 3 groups or stages of AMD. The early and intermediate groups were not experiencing any vision lost. The advance group reported some vision lost. The groups were classified by examining their eye and noting the drusen of yellow deposits under the retina associated with AMD.


It was found that intermediate and advance AMD in one eye could be reduce by 25% with use of supplements. Researchers noted that taking the supplements did not seem to help reduce or prevent AMD. The study just shows for those people experiencing AMD that these supplements can slow it progress.They also cautioned people form taking these supplements a preventive measure with out physician input because the supplements can have a negative affect. The best defense is a regular eye examine and your eye doctor can tell you if these supplements might help with advance AMD.

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