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Nutritional Supplements May Decrease Risk for Vision Loss, Says Maple Ridge Eye Care

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C., Dec. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Maple Ridge Eye Care is raising awareness about the importance of nutritional supplements for protecting vision and reducing the risk for eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In a recent study, scientists found that people who ate at least three daily servings of bananas, oranges and other fruits had a 36% lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than people who ate fewer than one and a half servings, reports optometrist Dr. M. Hurlbert. If individuals cannot eat this many fruits and vegetables, Dr. Hurlbert advises taking nutritional supplements and vitamins.

“When it comes to good eye health, it’s not as simple as eating a few carrots,” said Dr. Hurlbert with Maple Ridge Eye Care. “Nutrition can play an important role in reducing the risk for age-related macular degeneration. However, you need to eat at least three servings of fruit and vegetables each day, which for some people is easier said than done. That’s one reason we increasingly recommend the use of nutritional supplements.”

When it comes to selecting nutritional supplements, Dr. Hurlbert recommends checking the ingredient list for lutein, zinc and selenium. Vitamins B, C and E may also provide extra protection from conditions such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, says Dr. Hurlbert.

Dr. Hurlbert’s recommendation is in line with research from the National Eye Institute (NEI). In 2001, researchers with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study reported that a nutritional supplement called the “AREDS formulation” could reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 25%, according to NEI.

“The original AREDS formulation is a blend of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper,” said Dr. Hurlbert. “A later study, began in 2006, tested additional nutrients including the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, Omega-3 fatty acids and lower doses of zinc. The study also eliminated beta-carotene, which in separate studies had been found to increase the risk for lung cancer in individuals who smoked.”

In 2014, the National Eye Institute (NEI) published the results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) clinical trial, the follow-up study for the original AREDS study. Investigators found that adding lutein and zeaxanthin were most beneficial for patients who already had low-levels of these supplements in their diets, but that overall, there was not a significant difference between the two formulas.

“While the NEI continues to conduct new research into better AREDS nutritional formulations, it’s clear that the basic formula developed in 2001 continues to deliver important results in decreasing the risk for age-related macular degeneration,” said Dr. Hurlbert.

The Maple Ridge, BC optometrist recommends patients talk to their eye doctors about which supplements are right for their needs. For more information on eye care, nutritional supplements and reducing the risk for age-related macular degeneration, call 604-463-4469 or visit www.mapleridgeeyecare.ca.

 

Maple Ridge Eye Care, (604) 463-4469