Vitamin D May Protect Against Aging of the Eyes
Vitamin D has been shown to combat a variety of health conditions, and now British researchers believe it may also help fight failing vision. According to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, the supplement showed signs of fighting age-related eye disease in as little as six weeks during tests on lab mice.
Diseases like macular degeneration are caused by clogs in the tiny blood vessels that connect to the retina, causing inflammation and poorer vision. In fact, lead researcher Glen Jeffrey told the Telegraph that by the time most people reach the age of 70, they have up to 30 percent fewer light receptive cells in their eyes.
Scientists believe that vitamin D may help prevent and even reverse this process.
When researchers fed one-year-old mice a supplement of vitamin D and safflower oil, the mice experienced improved vision and a decrease in the production of the toxic molecule amyloid beta. The mice were fed the supplement every three days.
Despite the positive effects, however, researchers caution that full investigation into the effects are needed before people stock up on vitamin D.
“Researchers need to run full clinical trials in humans before we can say confidently that older people should start taking vitamin D supplements,” Jeffrey said.
Instead, the Telegraph recommends contacting personal physicians for the best way to treat sight loss.
Vitamin D is gained primarily through the skin’s exposure to the sun, though it can be found in some foods like oily fish and egg yolk, the newspaper said. Taking the vitamin has been found to reduce the amount of amyloid found on the brain and in other blood vessels, suggesting a positive link between vitamin D, heart health and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.