Natural Health News – Vitamin D has been extensively studied in relation to things like health bones and cancer. Now, it looks like it may also have a role to play in protecting the eyes.
Specifically US researchers now believe it has a role to play in preventing macular degeneration related to age, or AMD, among women who are genetically more likely to develop the disease that damages the eye.
In an article published in Archives of Ophthalmology online, the research team found that women who are deficient in vitamin D and have a genetic composition of high specific risk are 6.7 times more likely to develop AMD than women with sufficient levels of vitamin D and no high-risk genotype. What you need to know
“ Women with vitamin D deficiency, which also have a particular genetic makeup, can beat a higher risk of macular degeneration related to age.
“ This can be a particular problem in the northern regions, which do not receive strong sunlight.
“ In a new study of the odds of having AMD was higher in women who were deficient in vitamin D, with 25 levels (OH) D below 12 ng / ml (30 nmol levels / L), but the increase of vitamin D above this did not reduce significantly the likelihood of AMD. A combination of diet, supplements and sunlight can help maintain healthy levels of vitamin D, but.
“Most people have heard that you should eat carrots to help his vision. However, it seems that there are many other ways that proper nutrition can support eye health. Having adequate vitamin D status can be one of them, “says lead author Amy Millen, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of Buffalo School of Public health and health Professions professor
For the study Millen and his team analyzed data from 1,230 women between 54 and 74 years who participated in a larger study on eye health. Vitamin D status of women was evaluated by blood tests and they provide an insight into the intake of vitamin D through all sources :. diet, supplements and sunlight An immune response
AMD has a strong genetic component and some victims are predisposed to the production of a protein that triggers an immune / inflammatory response.
People with the early stages of AMD develop drusen (yellow or white deposits on a tiny layer of the retina), deposits of lipids and proteins that accumulate in the eye.
“Your body sees this you drusen as a foreign substance and attacks it, in part, through the cascade complement response,” Millen said. “CFH is one of the proteins involved in this response. We see more AMD in persons who have certain variants in the gene encoding a form of the CFH protein is associated with more aggressive immune response.”
Vitamin D shows promise for protection against macular degeneration due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic properties; antiangiogenic means to slow the growth of new blood vessels, often seen in the late stages of AMD.
Although the odds of having AMD was higher in women who were deficient in vitamin D, with 25 (OH) D below 12 ng / ml (30 nmol / L), increased levels of vitamin D beyond 12 ng / ml did not further reduce the likelihood of AMD in any significant degree.
Get enough vitamin D
Human skin can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light, Millen explained. However, for many people, 15 to 30 minutes a day with 10% of exposed skin may be sufficient. In the winter months when there is less sun, this exposure may not be not enough to keep the blood level for people living in the northern regions of the world. In these times and places, food intake may be necessary. Dietary sources of vitamin D include foods like milk and foods that naturally contain vitamin D, such as fatty fish like salmon and mackerel fortified.
As always, it pays to get your vitamin D levels checked before embarking on a supplement regimen.