An antioxidant supplement developed by scientists from Belfast may help slow age-related macular degeneration (AMD) progression and the associated vision loss in seniors.
AMD occurs when blood vessels in the center of the retina break down. The National Health Institutes estimates it is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older and affects some 10 percent of people between the ages of 66 to 74.
The disease may make it difficult for them to read or even recognize faces.
Researchers from Queens Centre of Vision and Vascular Science at Queens University Belfast recruited 400 people to take part in clinical trials investigating whether carotenoids, which are antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables, could prevent progression of the disease. The supplement also contained vitamins C, E and Zinc.
They found that compared to the control group, those who took the supplement maintained macular pigments and that slowed down the progression from early AMD to late AMD.
Recent studies have found there is a host of nutritional supplements that can protect eyes from the damage inflicted by AMD. In particular vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid may reverse the process, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements may also offer protection.