Macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of blindness in people over 40. It occurs when the macula, right behind the retina, deteriorates. AMD destroys vision in the center of your eye, leaving only peripheral vision. This compromises your balance as well as your eyesight, leaving you vulnerable to falls. Western medicine doesn?t have an answer, but I do.
Two large recent studies, each using thousands of participants, found that your macula needs two specific nutrients to stay healthy. One of the nutrients slows the progression of macular degeneration, while the other prevents it.
The researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids slow the progression. And what?s more, you don?t need a lot of the fatty acids to see benefits. Researchers found that eating two four-ounce servings a week is enough. This is exciting news, as it means you can slow the progression simply by eating foods that are rich in omega-3s a couple of times each week.
In the May issue of my newsletter, I showed you how eating nuts, which are high in omega-3 fats, can prevent advanced macular degeneration and blindness. But nuts aren?t the only place you can get omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are a rich source. So if you don?t like nuts, or have difficulty digesting them, eat an extra portion of fish. Or you can get your omega-3s from quality essential fatty acids capsules, such as those in the Women?s Preferred Vitality Plus multivitamin.
The other nutrient that prevents macular degeneration is vitamin D. Thousands of people who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey had a complete physical workup, complete with photos of their retinas, blood and urine tests, and dietary intake. Those with the highest levels of vitamin D had the lowest risk of getting early AMD.
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I?m not surprised to hear this. As we get older, our skin is less able to convert vitamin D from sunlight. That?s a time in many peoples? lives when they spend little time outdoors exposing their skin to the sun. The older you are, the more you need either exposure to sunlight or supplemental vitamin D.
Experts on vitamin D suggest taking a minimum of 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day. I suggest 4,000-5,000 IU from fall through spring. In the summer, if you?re going outdoors for an hour or more, you can drop this to 2,000 IU. You can order a 5,000 IU vitamin D product from Women?s Preferred. Simply call 800-728-2288 to order it and Vitality Plus. Meanwhile, boost your diet with more fish, eat raw nuts, and get out in the sun. It can save your eyesight.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Arch Opthalmol, 2007, vol 125.