Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55, which is why it’s more important than ever to protect the health of the eyes.

Good eyesight is a precious gift we are given, and one we sometimes take for granted. It is essential to take care of our eyes through good nutrition and following a healthy lifestyle.


The four main causes of vision impairment include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). More than 25 million people worldwide are affected by age-related macular degeneration, according to the American Optometric Association. In fact AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 55 in the Western world and the incidence is expected to triple by 2025.

It is therefore more important than ever to take good care of our eyes. Let’s take a look at some nutrients that can help.

VITAMIN D

Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as zinc and copper are known to be important for eye health. However, researchers in the UK have found evidence to suggest that vitamin D3 could be important to eye health too, particularly in preventing AMD. Scientists from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London gave vitamin D3 supplementation to older mice, and after just six weeks the animals experienced reductions in retinal inflammation and levels of amyloid beta accumulation, both of which are associated with AMD. The mice also experienced improved vision and significant reductions in the numbers of retinal macrophages (immune cells that can cause inflammatory damage).

LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two important antioxidants which have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. In fact a landmark 2004 study published in Optometry: The Journal of the American Optometric Association, showed that lutein supplementation may reverse the symptoms of AMD.

Furthermore, a 2012 Finnish study found that increased levels of lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of cataract formation by 40 per cent. Good sources of lutein include yellow peppers and green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, chard and broccoli. Zeaxanthin can be found in foods such as orange sweet peppers, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, oranges and eggs.

TAURINE

The amino acid taurine is produced by the body through the synthesis of two other amino acids: methionine and cysteine. Our bodies normally manufacture taurine rather than obtaining it from our diet, although good dietary sources include eggs, dairy products, fish and red meat. Taurine is found in very high concentrations in the retina, but declines significantly with age.

A deficiency can lead to a number of retinal problems such as retinal ganglion cell degeneration3 and retinal dysfunction in children. It is believed that taurine enhances the rods and cones within the retina, which serve as visual receptor cells. As we age, the macula area of the retina degenerates as the rods and cones die, which can lead to a loss of vision and blindness. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that taurine is essential for maintaining optimal retinal function.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

MAXI FOCUSTM

This sublingual spray contains the essential carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin plus a full range of essential vitamins and minerals to support the health of your eyes. These nutrients absorb at least 900% better than their tablet equivalent and in most cases will be in the eye within two minutes.

TURNING A BLIND EYE by Robert Redfern

This fascinating book provides a 10-step plan including nutritional guidance and lifestyle changes to improve and support your eye health.