September 23, 2013

Macular Degeneration Risk Decreases With Vitamin D

High levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream appear to be associated with a decreased risk of developing early age-related macular degeneration among women younger than the age of 75.  Age-related macular degeneration is a chronic, late-onset disease that is the leading cause of adult irreversible vision loss, affecting approximately 9% (8.5 million) of Americans aged 40 years and older.  Researchers examined data from 1,313 women measuring serum 25(OH)D levels.  Serum 25(OH)D is the preferred biomarker for vitamin D status, as it reflects vitamin D exposure from both oral sources and sunlight.   

Predispose Disease

Results:  in women younger than 75, no relationship was observed using self reported time spent in direct sunlight.  Amazingly though, women who consumed the most vitamin D had a 59% decreased odds of developing early age related macular degeneration compared to women who consumed the least vitamin D.  The top food sources of vitamin D in the sample were milk, fish, fortified margarine and fortified cereal.  This is another example of how, even with potential genetic factors that may predispose disease, lifestyle and dietary habits influence health and longevity.

Source:  Arch Ophthalmol.2011;129(4):481-489

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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