Retinal degenerative disease is a significant risk factor for vision loss in large populations worldwide, but recent research recommends taking a number of vitamins and supplements that can reduce the risk of disease progression to advanced stages.
Retinal degeneration is the most common cause of significant vision loss in those aged 50 and over in Western countries, affecting about 10 percent of the population over the age of 65. According to recent UN publications, the disease affects approximately 606 million people worldwide, by 2050 The number of patients with the disease is expected to grow three-fold, reaching approximately 2 billion patients worldwide.
Retinal degenerative disease, or by the name “age-related macular degeneration”, is divided into two states: the “dry phase”, which is the first stage of the disease, which mainly affects the layer cells below the retina, and the “wet phase” which is the advanced stage. Of the disease and during which blood vessels that are abnormal in the retinal region are created, in both types of retinal degeneration can be effectively treated and even delay the deterioration of the disease and worsening.
In 2006, a 5-year study involving approximately 3,600 participants was published, with results showing that taking certain vitamins is effective in treating the disease, and may even lead to a 25 percent reduction in the transition to the advanced stage of the disease. The supplements recommended for taking this study are: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, Zinc and Copper.
Reducing the risk of retinal degeneration
A recent study at the Seattle annual ophthalmology conference re-examined the composition of vitamins recommended in the original study. The purpose of the study, which began in 2006 and encompassed about 4,200 participants aged 50-85, was to examine the efficacy of adding omega 3 to the original formula, as well as adding lutein and zeaxanthin as a substitute for beta carotene (which is mentioned as a risk of developing lung cancer in smokers).
Among the conclusions of the study, it was found that adding omega 3 to the original formula was not helpful, while the addition of lutein and zeaxanthin did not reduce the effectiveness of the treatment – so it could be replaced with beta-carotene. It has also been found that the amount of zinc can be reduced compared to the original formula.
According to Dr. Emily Choo, deputy director of the National Institute of Ophthalmology (NEI), patients treated with formula plus lutein and xiaxanthin (as a substitute for beta-carotene), reduced the risk of moving to a more advanced stage of the disease, compared to patients who took The original formula remains unchanged, and another possible explanation for this finding is probably Beta Carotene’s reduction in the effect of lutein and xyxanthin in the bloodstream.
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What are the vitamins recommended for patients with retinal degeneration?
In conclusion, according to the results of the new study, the recommended vitamin composition for treating the disease is: 500 mg vitamin C, 400 mg vitamin E, 80 mg zinc, 2 mg copper, 10 mg lutein and 2 mg “C. Ziaxanthin.
The recommended vitamins can be consumed through supplements, as well as by proper and appropriate nutrition. Among the foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are orange, yellow and green vegetables (tomato, spinach, green cabbage, pumpkin, carrot and more). Ziaxanthin can also be consumed through foods such as corn, melon, orange, mango, bud cabbage, apricot and peach. It is best to eat these foods after light cooking, as well as with olive oil or nuts, as the lutein is fat-soluble and thus absorbs it in the body.
Retinal degenerative disease is age-related, so anyone over the age of 60 is advised to have an ophthalmologist at least once a year. To read about the OCT test click here. One of the first symptoms the doctor sees when discovering the disease is called “Drusen” – a yellow precipitate in the deep layers of the retina. This finding indicates the existence of the dry phase of the disease, so it is advisable to consult the ophthalmologist at this stage about taking the vitamins and thus reducing the risk of the disease progressing to more advanced stages.