There are many different eye diseases, each with its own characteristics. Vitamins and minerals can have a protective effect for some of these eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Amd)
AMD is an eye condition which causes the Visual acuity decreases. It literally means ' yellow spot ' decline. The macula (macula lutea) is the part of the retina that allows you to see and that will keep you sharp details can stand out. In the macula are the most light-sensitive cells that lets you contrast and colors can perceive: the cones. The rest of the retina causes you to see well the environment (the periphery).
As the disease goes, can always be observed less detail. Patients usually stay around see's something, but in severe cases the illness can eventually lead to blindness.
AMD especially a problem in seniors
Only 7% of Dutch people know that in industrialized countries such as Netherlands, AMD is the main cause of a persistent deterioration of vision in people over 55. In Netherlands suffers an estimated 14% of people between 55 and 64 years to any form of AMD. A woman of over 75 years has twice as much chance on AMD as a man of the same age. Low estrogen levels (a hormone in the blood) in women after menopause increases the risk of the condition.
Protection from ' rust '
Possible causes of AMD are hardening of the arteries, too much sunlight and high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol. Would also heredity may play a role. It is certain that smoking has a negative effect, people who smoke have a clearly increased risk of AMD. LMD is five times as common in people who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day. That risk remains increased to no less than fifteen years after someone has stopped smoking.
The yellow spot in the eye is also very susceptible to damage by oxygen. This oxidative damage is similar to the rusting of metal and can cause damage to the cells or to function loss. Antioxidants are substances that can protect the body against such oxidative damage. Examples of antioxidants are vitamin C and e. seem carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin to have a protective effect. And the same is true for zinc.
Supplements and LMD
The biggest effect seems to act as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc together. Daily high concentrations of these substances lower the risk by about 35%. American research shows that people who exhibit an early form of AMD in the long run benefit of dietary supplements with high doses of vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zinc. This preventive treatment can provide a delay of the clinical picture. Because of the high doses it is wise to use these supplements only after consultation with the ophthalmologist.
In addition, it is not clear what the effects of these supplements are on other population groups with other dietary habits. There is therefore no general advice for supplement use in people with AMD.
Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens. This clouding is caused by clumping together proteins in the lens. Cataracts can occur at a young age or birth. The most common type of cataract is age related cataract. Age related cataract is a normal aging process. Everyone gets it, but not everyone has is bothering. Which complaints occur depends on the place where the cloudiness in the eye lens. The symptoms can range from double vision, blurred vision, difference in colors or seeing flashes of light.
Vitamins and cataracts
From a large u.s. study, which followed more than 121,000 nurses since 1976, found that women younger than 60, which used more than 350 daily mg vitamin C, more than 50% less risk of cataracts. Women who have more than 10 years used vitamin C supplements had less chance of developing cataracts than women who used no supplements. The risk reduction on cataracts by vitamin C occurs on daily amounts of approximately 350 mg or more. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is for adults in Netherlands on 70 mg per day. Other studies show similar results on cataracts. Extra vitamin C thus seems to have a positive effect, but it's too early to the recommended amount of vitamin C increase.