Given the social impact of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as the interest in natural ways of preventing and treating the condition, scientists have announced they created a new antioxidant supplement that may slow its progress and the associated vision loss.
AMD occurs when blood vessels in the center of the retina break down, leading to a loss of central vision. The National Health Institutes estimates it is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older and affects some 10 percent of people between the ages of 66 to 74.
For their clinical study—which aimed to test whether carotenoids, which are antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables, could prevent progression of the disease—the researchers enlisted 400 people with early stage AMD.
In addition to carotenoids, the trial supplement also contained vitamins C, E and zinc.
The results suggested that macular pigment in the retinas of the participants who took the supplement was maintained better, as compared with the control group, and those individuals experienced a slowing down of the progression of the disease.
Thanks to recent research, there is now a range of supplements that can protect eyes from the consequences of AMD. It has been suggested vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid may reverse the process, and omega-3 fatty acids may offer additional protection against blood vessel breakage.