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Macular Degeneration

Also indexed as:Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Maculopathy
Keep your vision in good condition by taking care to prevent macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness later in life. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Coenzyme Q10, and Fish Oil
Follow label directions2 stars[2 stars]
In one study, supplementing with a proprietary blend of acetyl-L-carnitine, fish oil, and coenzyme Q10 improved visual function in people with macular degeneration.
Ginkgo
120 to 240 mg daily of a standardized herbal extract2 stars[2 stars]
Taking ginkgo may help treat early stage macular degeneration.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
6 to 10 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that protect the retina from damage caused by sunlight. Lutein has been shown to help people with both early and advanced stages of the disease.
Melatonin
Take under medical supervision: 3 mg daily at bedtime2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, melatonin improved eye abnormalities in the majority of cases. It appears to work by regulating eye pigmentation and by functioning as an antioxidant.
Multivitamin
Follow label directions2 stars[2 stars]
In a study of people with macular degeneration, vision was the same or better in 88% people who took a multivitamin-mineral, compared with 59% of those who took a placebo.
Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid
2.5 mg folic acid, 50 mg vitamin B6, and 1 mg vitamin B12 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind study of female health professionals who had cardiovascular disease or risk factors, daily supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 significantly decreased age-related macular degeneration.
Zinc
45 mg daily (with 1 to 2 mg of copper to protect against depletion)2 stars[2 stars]
Two important enzymes in the retina that are needed for vision require zinc. In one trial, zinc supplementation significantly reduced the rate of visual loss in people with macular degeneration.
Beta-Carotene
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which can cause macular degeneration. Beta-carotene protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.
Bilberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with bilberry may help prevent and treat early-stage macular degeneration.
Carotenoids
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants in the carotenoid family, protect the retina from damage caused by sunlight.
Fish Oil
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish, has been associated with lower risks of age-related macular degeneration.
Goji Berry
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
As a rich source of zeaxanthin, goji berries may be beneficial.
Selenium
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which can cause macular degeneration. Selenium protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.
Vitamin C
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which in turn can cause macular degeneration. Vitamin C protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.
Vitamin E
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which in turn can cause macular degeneration. Vitamin E protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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