NEW YORK (CBS 2)Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans over the age of 60. A new study suggests Vitamin D could protect women from the vision-robbing illness, Dr. Max Gomez reports.

Dorrette Wright, 47, was surprised to learn during a routine eye exam that she has the early stages of macular degeneration.

“It was pretty scary,” she said. “I thought actually that initially, down the line, sooner  rather than later that my sight will be gone.”

Now research shows a diet rich in Vitamin D could have helped prevent the onset of disease in Wright’s retinas.

A new study in the “Archives of Opthamology” shows women under 75 who have higher levels of the vitamin in their blood were less likely to develop macular degeneration later in life.

“My theory is that Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation has played a big part in macular degeneration,” said Dr. Shantan Reddy of the NYU Langone Medical Center.

Macular degeneration affects one in 10 Americans over 40, which amounts to around 8.5 million people.

Doctors said a healthy dose of sunlight is one way to get the vitamin, but at the risk of developing skin cancer.

In any case, the study finds just sun isn’t enough.

“The way to increase it to the levels that are protective: we need to eat properly, eat Vitamin D-rich foods,” said Dr. Reddy.

Leafy vegetables or fish are also rich in Vitamin D. Wright is a vegetarian and is now doing more to maintain the vitamin in her blood.

Since many of us have trouble eating a healthy diet, a number of other researchers recommend Vitamin D supplements as a way to get enough without risking skin cancer or obesity.

The vitamin also seems to be very important for strengthening the immune system.

Smoking and a family history of macular degeneration can all increase your chances of developing the disease.

Are you concerned about developing macular degeneration? Have you or someone you love been affected by it? Sound off in our comments section.

Comments (2)
  1. Paul OBrien says:

    Vitamin D3Take 50,000 unites daily your 25(OH)D reading should be between 90 and 500 nmol/L Dr. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.: has managed over 1500 diabetic patients and, in the last decade, not one of his patients has had a stroke or heart attack. Only one has even been hospitalized! His secret—50,000 units of Vitamin D3 daily. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). When JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, injected a potent form of vitamin D into human breast cancer cells, half of them shriveled up and died within days! The vitamin D worked as well at killing cancer cells as the toxic breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, without any of the detrimental side effects and at a tiny fraction of the cost. If you have cancer, or heart problems your vitamin D level should be between 90 and 500 ng/ml. . Vitamin-d-linked-to-reduced-risk-of-macular-degeneration
    . Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and greatly reduce autism, MS, lowers babies IQ and periodontal disease. Women with low vitamin D were 94 percent more likely to have their cancer spread and 73 percent more likely to die from their cancer.60 to 80% of older people are deficient in vitamin D. and should be taking 50,000 per day Paul takes 50,000units every day. my children have been taking 50,000 per day for more than a year. Pregnant women taking High Doses of Vitamin D May Cut Pregnancy Risks of Autism, MS, preeclampsia and increases the babies IQ. . Vitamin-d-linked-to-reduced-risk-of-macular-degeneration I will not take any flue or a pneumonia shot as the proper amounts of vitamin D3 eliminates or quickly cures these problems.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends 400 IU vitamin D3 daily starting from birth Children Over 1 Year Old Research suggests that about 1,000 IU vitamin D3 per 25 lb. . Anyone Over 12 Years Old. Research suggests that about 2,000 IU vitamin D3 and this is probably low. For preventing rickets, strengthening muscles, bones and teeth, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of falling, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease and death from all causes,90% Percentage of Oncologists said if they had cancer they would not participate in chemotherapy Or Radiation due to its “ineffectiveness and its unacceptable toxicity” If Oncologists won’t take chemotherapy or radiation, why would you? The best cancer cure appears to be D3 injected directly into the cancer and taking 50,000 units of D3 per day. Based on the above evidence
    50,000 IU D3 per day dramatically reduces your risk of dying, cancer, heart attacks, strokes, bone problems, bad colds, flues, pneumonia, diabetes, macular degeneration, autism, MS, preeclampsia the risk of falling, autoimmune disorders and increases strength, a babies IQ and reduces blood pressure. I Buy Mine at Amazon-Vitamin-100 capsules D3-50-000/ At $20.20 plus shipping & Shipping is free if you buy 2 click here
    Your recommandations are far lto llow

  2. Doris says:

    I take supplements, including Vitamin D, because my produce is not picked the same day that I consume it. So nutrients are lost in transit. Every week new benefits are revealed about taking Vitamin D. That is why I will continue to take 1,000mg twice a day.

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