All Posts tagged age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in seniors. There are alternative nutritional treatments instead of the drugs currently offered for AMD. The drugs are Lucentis, which is specifically designed to treat AMD and Avastin, a cancer drug that eye doctors have been using off-label for several years as an AMD treatment.

In a recent study, patients were treated with one of the two drugs for a year. At the end of the year, Avastin patients were able to read, on average, 8 additional letters on an eye chart, while Lucentis patients were able to read 8.5 additional letters. Of course there are side effects that may occur with the use the drugs. According to the Lucentis website, some patients who use the drug have had detached retinas and serious infections inside the eye. Other risks include “eye- and non-eye-related blood clots (heart attacks, strokes, and death).” The list goes on to include eye pain, small specks in vision, headaches, and respiratory infections. Stroke or heart problems (which can be fatal), serious kidney problems (which can also be fatal), high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, tremors, nose bleeds, back pain, inflammation of the skin, and nervous system and vision disturbances (which can include seizure and blindness). 

Back to natural alternatives: You can look up additional information on the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)–an ongoing clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute. AREDS has shown that vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper, taken together, can help prevent AMD.

Over time, researchers began calling this combination of nutrients the “AREDS formula,” which is now being used as an AMD treatment.

The website for Macular Degeneration Research (a program of the American Health Assistance Foundation) states that the AREDS formula “may delay or prevent intermediate age-related macular degeneration from progressing to the advanced stage.”

So which would you rather try first: Lucentis, Avastin, or the AREDS formula? 

Here are the exact daily dosages used in AREDS:

  • Vitamin C–500 mg
  • Vitamin E–400 IU
  • Beta-carotene–15 mg
  • Zinc (as zinc oxide)–80 mg
  • Copper (as cupric oxide)–2 mg

I would also include two vision-friendly carotenoids that I’ve also mentioned many times: lutein and zeaxanthin.


Study Says Resveratrol May Boost Eye Health

The vascular benefits of resveratrol—a compound in red wine, blueberries and peanuts—may extend to reducing the risk of blindness for diabetics and seniors, says a new study.

This information was published in the American Journal of Pathology: Resveratrol could reverse the abnormal formation of blood vessels in the retina of mice subjected to a laser treatment.

The researchers note that the findings could have potential benefits for both age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

AMD is a degenerative retinal disease that causes central vision loss and leaves only peripheral vision, and is the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world, according to AMD Alliance International.

According to the National Institutes of Health, between 40 and 45% of Americans diagnosed with diabetes already have some stage of diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of blindness in people with diabetes.

A great deal of research has identified resveratrol as an anti-aging compound,  a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical.

Original research on resveratrol was performed by Sinclair. He found resveratrol could activate a gene called sirtuin1 (Sirt1—the yeast equivalent was Sir2), which is also activated during calorie restriction in various species and is related to longer life spans. 

For the current study, researchers exposed mouse retinas to a laser treatment that initiated blood vessel formation, or angiogenesis. When resveratrol was fed to the mice, however, the researchers observed that angiogenesis was inhibited and that abnormal blood vessels were eliminated. The effects were identified as occurring via the eEF2 pathway.

American Journal of Pathology 177:481-492, 2010

For my clients I recommend Resveratin by Xymogen. Resveratin is a bioflavinoid complex containing three antioxidants. This comibination results in improved uptake and stability with more pronounced benefits.

As a dietary supplement, take one capsule twice a day. Order Resveratin @  Use PIN#  TUC500