A new study indicates that taking sufficient vitamin D could prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which affects 15 million Americans with 200,000 new cases each year.
In the research, women under 75 who consumed sufficient vitamin D cut their risk of developing early age-related AMD, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness, by 59 percent when compared to women with vitamin D-poor diets.
AMD causes severe vision loss because it attacks the macula of the eye, where our sharpest central vision occurs.
Researchers found that vitamin D levels among patients in the study were most affected by the amount of vitamin D they consumed, through certain fish, dairy, eggs, and leafy green vegetables, not by the amount of outdoor exposure they had.
Considering many Americans are actually deficient in vitamin D, this study may offer one more reason for women to include vitamin D-rich foods in the diet, said the lead author on the study, Amy Millen of the University of Buffalo.
AMD gets in the way of reading, driving, identifying faces, watching television, safely navigating stairs and performing other daily tasks.
It never causes complete blindness though, but it robs the individual of all but the outermost, peripheral vision, leaving only dim images or holes at the center of vision.