Recent studies are beginning to show a consistent correlation between higher serum (blood) levels of vitamin D and reduced risk of macular degeneration. In the most recent study of post-menopausal women, those with higher blood levels were less likely to have the eye disease as were those with lower levels. Correlation does not mean that vitamin D prevents the eye disease, so it could just be that people with higher vitamin D levels have overall healthier habits that reduce risk of macular degeneration. Other studies have shown similar correlations, though, and these studies are controlling for other factors that influence eye disease like diabetes and family histories of disease.

From Wikimedia Commons: National Eye Institute, NIH
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of adult vision loss. Typically, the focus point becomes distorted, so that a grid is appears wavy, as in the photo, and that damage spreads over time. It can be prevented or slowed by lifestyle changes. In addition to consuming vitamin D (milk, supplements, and fatty fish are the best sources), it is well-established that wearing sunglasses and eating dark green leafy vegetables prevent macular degeneration. Try eating Salmon Artichoke Patties with Quick Quinoa Kale Salad, and don’t forget your sunglasses!

Citation: Millen, A.E. et al. “Vitamin D Status and Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Post-Menopausal Women.” Archives of Opthlamology. Vol 129, Number 4. April 2011.

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