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Most of us will have macular degeneration as we age. But we can slow this process and even prevent it with certain dietary strategies. Learn how spinach and other foods and supplements can prevent the leading cause of blindness. [bold in original]
The macula in the center of the retina of our eyes can easily become damaged when it is unprotected. The macula can be damaged by looking into the sun or with prolonged bright light exposure. But the risk of this type of damage - or age-related macular degeneration - is decreased when the macula is protected by its own macular pigment.
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The researchers found that the eyesight of the subjects was improved – measured as visual acuity. They also found their macular pigment densities were significantly increased. These improvements were seen at both one month and two months after the spinach regimen began. They confirmed the relationship between the lutein by seeing increased blood levels of lutein among the subjects.
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The AREDS (Vitamins C, E, A, zinc and copper) formula did not prevent AMD and was not effective in people with early AMD. But for those with intermediate AMD, it slowed the progression by 25% and slowed the vision loss by 19%. This is a high dose vitamin, so you should only take it if your doctor recommends it. You should also inform all your doctors of every supplement or herbal remedy you use.
originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: BO XIAN
Spinach contains many nutrients shown in studies to be effective in reducing 'wet' macular degeneration where capillaries have ruptured and are 'bleeding' but 'dry' macular degeneration has not shown such a simple solution.
Most treatments for wet macular degeneration work by suppressing a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This protein promotes capillary growth within the macula but the new vessels are weak and can rupture easily.
It has been recommended in several studies that the following daily doses of these nutrients can slow macular degeneration: zinc 80 mg, copper 2 mg, vitamin E 400 IU, vitamin C 500 mg, lutein 10 mg and zeaxanthin 2 mg.
Spinach and most dark green leaf foods, like Silverbeet, Kale and Watercress are good natural sources of these and other nutrients (healthier and cheaper than supplements). A handful of nuts a week and oily fish (a source of Omega 3) will also help slow down damage.
Additionally, having high blood sugars for extended periods is known to cause capillaries to rupture, so if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, keep your sugars under control. Choosing low glycemic index foods (those that release their energy slowly) in preference of sugar laden foods is important in the fight against macular degeneration.
Also, it has now been recognized that genetic factors strongly affect the likelihood of developing macular degeneration. Unfortunately it appears that blindness due to macular degeneration seems to run in all the males my family so I am acutely aware that I must take positive action to save my sight.
There is a simple test that you can use to indicate if you 'may' have macular degeneration. It is called an Amsler grid which can show irregularities in vision. I could paste one in to this post but if you google it, there are many examples online.
If you do have issues, then there is all sorts of help to prevent blindness. You must, however, seek medical advice if there are symptoms. There are treatments that are effective and it'd be a shame to miss your input on ATS!
I know one Ophthalmologist told me that lutein supplements had been shown to not be that effective toward preventing Macular Degeneration.
For the pressure range (20-40 MPa) and temperature range (30-70 °C), 30 MPa/70 °C gave the highest yield of oleoresin (58.9 g kg(-1) ). The dominant fatty acids of marigold flower oleoresin were linoleic acid (>26.41%), palmitic acid (>24.22%) and oleinic acid (>20.12%). Significant effects of the extraction pressure and temperature on the antioxidant activity were observed (P < 0.05). Lutein esters, α-tocopherol, β-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol and δ-tocopherol were the dominant antioxidant compounds in the extracts.