What can you do if you have risk factors for macular degeneration? What if you have already been diagnosed with this age-related sight-stealing disease? Is there anything you can do?
Yes! You can avoid the risk factors that you can control. Wear good sunglasses consistently to protect against the development of free radicals in your eyes. Take good antioxidant supplements and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If you smoke — stop! If you are diabetic, here’s another reason for getting the disease under control.
There are also positive things that can give specific help. One of the main nutrients for eye health, especially macular degeneration, is lutein. It can increase the pigmentation of the macula, improving your vision. Most sites I checked recommended at least 6 mgs. a day of lutein. You can also get it from eating lots (and lots!) of green, leafy vegetables. If you do go with a supplement, go with a good one. Cheap, synthetic versions can actually do more harm than good, so check out the companies and find a reputable one with lutein in a food-based form.
I also found sites recommending taurine, an amino acid that helps rejuvenate tissues. It is found naturally in meat and fish. It’s also available in supplements, One site specifically recommended 500 mgs. per day, but I have to say this supplement is one I haven’t researched — or even heard of before. I am not a doctor and not prescribing anything, but just passing on to you what I have found from my research.
As we have already seen, vitamins C and E, as well as Omega 3s, are good for eye health. Selenium, zinc, and zeaxanthin make another appearance in the literature about this disease, as well as in that concerning cataracts and glaucoma.
And, as we keep finding, eating a low glycemic diet, exercising, and avoiding sugar and transfats are all key to good eye health. I think we can deduce that doing these things is good for our health in general!
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown