Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vitamin D and Vision

The Archives of Opthamology has chronicled a study that shows a connection between Vitamin D levels and age-related macular degeneration or AMD. This disease causes vision loss in 9 percent of our country's citizens who are 40 years old and older.

The macula is located in the middle of the retina and it is what allows us to see fine detail. AMD is not painful but it can come on very slowly or advance rapidly. It can affect one or both eyes. Some see a hazy or blurry spot in the middle of what they are looking at. I have heard it described as if there is a ball in the center of your vision so that you only see what is on the edges.

The study looked at data from over 1300 women to see if Vitamin D levels in their blood were connected to the disorder. They specifically looked at serum 25(OH)D. They found that women who were younger than 75 years old who took in the most Vitamin D from food and supplements showed a 59 percent less chance of getting early-onset AMD than did those who took in the least amount! 

This is the second study I have found that shows Vitamin D may protect against AMD and I think 59 percent makes for good odds and another important reason to get our levels up and keep them there. Don't be Vitamin D deficient! You're never too old to get your blood tested and know your Vitamin D level. The test to ask for is 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D.