Vitamin E Supplement Fights Eye Disease; Green Vegetable Diet ‘Difficult to Achieve’

NEW YORK, May 16 /PRNewswire/ — The high levels of nutrients needed to

combat age-related macular degeneration “are very difficult to achieve from

diet alone,” but a formulation containing Vitamin E can lower the risk of

vision loss, a New York Times special supplement reports.

The 10-page advertising section of the Times magazine, called “From Cause

to Cure,” examines eye health, particularly macular degeneration, which is the

leading cause of vision loss in people over 60.

A new study on macular degeneration found that taking a supplement

containing antioxidants Vitamin E and Vitamin C, with beta carotene and small

amounts of zinc and copper, can “significantly reduce the risk of age-related

macular degeneration (AMD) and its associated vision loss,” the article


Dr. Frederick Ferris, director of clinical research at the National Eye

Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, was chairman of the

study and said: “Previous studies have suggested that people who consume a

diet rich in green, leafy vegetables have a lower risk of developing AMD.

However, the high levels of nutrients that were evaluated in the study are

very difficult to achieve from diet alone.”

Dr. Ferris said that although two-thirds of the study participants took a

daily multivitamin in addition to their assigned treatment of vitamins and

minerals, the study found that those at high risk of developing advanced AMD

could lower that risk by taking the formulation of vitamins and minerals,

including 400 international units (IU) of Vitamin E daily.

Currently, treatment for age-related macular degeneration is limited, and

researchers believe the new study shows promise to “delay progression in those

at high risk.”

Macular degeneration cases are expected to double by the year 2020, health

authorities say, as the generation of “baby boomers” — persons born between

1946 and 1964 — ages. The eye disorder is believed to affect almost 30

percent of people over age 75.

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