Vitamins for Macular Degeneration
People who take certain vitamins may experience a reduced risk of developing the advanced stage of macular degeneration. High-dose formulas can contain antioxidants, zinc, and other supplements. Macular degeneration vitamins are not a cure, however, nor will they restore vision already lost. The side effects of these vitamin formulations are low, and can include genitourinary problems, anemia, and yellowing of the skin.
Once dry macular degeneration reaches the advanced stage, no form of treatment can prevent vision loss. However, earlier macular degeneration treatment can delay and possibly prevent intermediate dry macular degeneration from progressing to the advanced stage, in which vision loss occurs.
A recent study found that taking a specific high-dose formula of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduces the risk of advanced macular degeneration and its associated vision loss. Slowing dry macular degeneration progression from the intermediate stage to the advanced stage will save the vision of many people.
There are several formulations of these vitamins now available without a prescription. They are sold under the brand name Ocuvite® PreserVision®.
If you are considering taking vitamins for macular degeneration, talk to your doctor first. He or she can make sure that you take the right vitamins in the right amounts and that the vitamins will not interfere with other medicines you may be taking.
The specific daily amounts of antioxidants and zinc used by the study researchers were:
- 500 milligrams of vitamin C
- 400 International Units of vitamin E
- 15 milligrams of beta-carotene (often labeled as equivalent to 25,000 International Units of vitamin A)
- 80 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide
- 2 milligrams of copper as cupric oxide.
Copper was added to the formulation containing zinc to prevent copper-deficiency anemia, a condition associated with high levels of zinc intake.