By PAULA SPAN
A few years back, a big clinical trial showed that certain nutritional supplements could slow the progression of macular degeneration and reduce the risk of vision loss. “There was great interest among patients,” recalled Ingrid Scott, an ophthalmologist at the Penn State College of Medicine. “This was big news.” Are they remedies or questionable remedies?
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision impairment and blindness in older Americans. For the great majority of those who have it, there’s no effective treatment. And it generally worsens with time. “Patients with age-related macular degeneration are extremely motivated to do whatever they can,” Dr. Scott said.
The trial showed that one thing they could do was to take a specific formula of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Manufacturers quickly responded with a host of over-the-counter pills making a host of claims. Now, my drugstore and supermarket — and yours — have shelves of products that supposedly help people with macular degeneration and other supplements that “promote” or “maintain” or “protect” eye health.
Do they? Dr. Scott and her colleagues recently reviewed the ingredients and found reasons to proceed with caution.
First, a primer.
The clinical trial called AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study), conducted at 11 medical centers around the country by the National Eye Institute, found that a supplement could reduce the risk of worsening macular degeneration and severe vision loss by 25 percent over six years. The effective formula: a high-dose combination of vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc oxide, with a dash of copper.
“But the benefits of the nutrients only apply to certain stages of the disease,” Dr. Scott pointed out. “The formula could slow the progression in patients with either intermediate age-related macular degeneration or with advanced macular degeneration in only one eye.”
It didn’t work for people with milder forms of the disease………
Read more: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/questionable-remedies-for-eye-disease/#more-17588
Source: New Old Age- NY Times
By PAULA SPAN