For eyes. (Quick Studies).Antioxidant vitamins and zinc can help protect the macula (center of the retina) in people who already have age-related macular degeneration Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)
Degeneration of the macula (the central part of the retina where the rods and cones are most dense) that leads to loss of central vision in people over 60. (AMD (Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, www.amd.com) A major manufacturer of semiconductor devices including x86-compatible CPUs, embedded processors, flash memories, programmable logic devices and networking chips. ), the leading cause of blindness in people aged 65 or older.
In a study of more than 3,600 people aged 55 to 80, AMD was less likely to get worse over six years in those who took either zinc (80 mg a day) or a mixture of vitamin E (400 IU), vitamin C (500 mg), and beta-carotene (15 mg, or 25,000 IU) than in those who took a placebo.
Among the roughly 2,600 who already had intermediate or advanced AMD, the risk of vision loss dropped 29 percent in those taking zinc, 24 percent in those taking antioxidants, and 34 percent in those taking both. None of the supplements lowered the risk of cataracts.
What to do: Anyone older than 55 should have their eyes examined when dilated to look for signs of macular degeneration. People who have intermediate or advanced AMD in one or both eyes should take supplements like those used in the study. Because high doses of zinc can impair the absorption of copper, they should also take a day's worth of copper (2 mg).
Exception: smokers should skip the beta-carotene because it can raise their risk of lung cancer. Other studies suggest that lutein lutein /lu·te·in/ (-in)
1. a lipochrome from the corpus luteum, fat cells, and egg yolk.
2. any lipochrome.
1. , a carotenoid Carotenoid
Any of a class of yellow, orange, red, and purple pigments that are widely distributed in nature. Carotenoids are generally fat-soluble unless they are complexed with proteins. found in green leafy vegetables, may protect eyes, but it hasn't been tested in a large, long-term trial.
Archives of Ophthalmology This article is about the journal published by the American Medical Association. For other journals and uses, see Ophthalmology (disambiguation).
The Archives of Ophthalmology 119: 1417, 1439, 1533, 2001.