Macular degeneration is a disorder in the retina of the eye which causes loss of vision. The main causes are genetic inheritance and age. This condition causes partial loss of vision and the individual will suffer from difficulty in handling activities like driving, or reading. This is incurable, but studies have revealed that ‘lutein’ which is an anti-oxidant along with other supplements can assist in slowing down the progression of this degeneration.
Macular degeneration can be of the dry or wet types. Both stem from absence of blood below the macula in the eye.
Some of the symptoms of dry macular degeneration include; difficulty in reading, blurred central vision, difficulty in recognizing faces and adapting to darkness, and diminished color intensity.
In a study conducted by the National Eye Institute, 3,600 participants having different stages of this disorder due to aging were administered zinc and other supplements. The nutritional intake included Vitamin C - 500 mg, Vitamin E - 400 IU, Zinc - 80 mg, Beta Carotene - 15 mg, and copper - 2 mg administered once a day. This lowered the progression by almost 25%.
Another study by the American Medical Association revealed that the antioxidant, lutein, which is mostly present in green leafy vegetables, take be taken in the capsule form. A capsule per day of strength 6 to 30 mg was said to reduce the risk of degeneration by almost 43%. This study also brought out that vitamins C and A had no effect on reducing the rate of progression. It also claimed that Vitamin E had a negative effect on the progression. These findings were contradictory to those published by the National Eye Institute.
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