Vitamin D Levels May Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration

This story talks about an association between Vitamin D levels and Macular Degeneration risk.  But it begs the question, how much of Macular Degeneration risk is genetic (quite a bit in my opinion), how much is environmental (specifically exposure to Ultraviolet and High Energy Blue light) and how much is nutritional (Vitamin D, Vitamin A and Vitamin E along with specific pigments such as Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso Zeaxantin).

In my 18 years of practice, reading quite a bit and talking with well respected colleagues, I’m pretty sure that we should worry about the factors I mentioned above in reverse order.  The reason being that we can do the most about the nutritional side of things.  By eating lower fat, greener diets we will naturally ingest healthier foods as well as facilitate the transport of nutritional supplements to the macula.

North Americans receive the bulk of their exposure to UV and High Energy Blue light before we’re 18, so the cow’s out of the barn for my adult patients.  And as of today, we can’t effect our genetic make up.

So, eat well.  Have regular eye care, know what your Macular Pigment Density is and take steps to raise it if its significantly low and wear your sunglasses!

Dr. Warren

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