Increasing Vitamin D Intake Can Boost Odds of Preventing Macular Degeneration

Those who increase their vitamin D intake can potentially bolster their odds of preventing certain age-related ailments, such as macular degeneration, according to a study cited by The Independent.

Vitamin D, a nutrient that facilitates the absorption of calcium, helps people to not only maintain healthy teeth, muscles and bones, but also to keep immune systems functioning optimally. People can get their vitamin D fixes by allowing the sun’s ultraviolet rays to bathe their skin. Vitamin D is also available via pill form for those who don’t like to expose too much skin to the big ball of gold in the sky.

According to the newspaper article, middle-aged rodents were given vitamin D for a six-week period in connection with the study initially published in the Neurobiology of Aging journal. These mice, according to the newspaper article, had reduced amounts of a noxious toxin connected to age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. The study showed that the lower amounts of amyloid beta present in the eyes and blood vessels of the mice translated into substantial enhancement of their vision, noted the newspaper article. Meanwhile, vitamin D intake also lessened the amount of macrophages cells, which can potentially cause bouts of inflammation, present in the mice.

While the findings don’t presume that vitamin D will necessarily eliminate the age-related macular degeneration threat for everyone, they do suggest that people can at least be more proactive at trying to tip the scale in their favor. After all, how hard can it be to get out in the sun or take a vitamin D pill?

The newspaper article mentioned that, in the developed world, age-related macular degeneration is the principal cause of blindness in the over-50 segment of the population. Which should make the issue a priority for all people as they start to get older. Mostly a disease that afflicts older people, age-related macular degeneration leads to vision loss as a result of retina damage, according to various sources. The illness, which can occur in “wet” and “dry” forms, renders it difficult to recognize faces, read or engage in activity that requires sight.

If a little vitamin D can help to prevent some of these age-related macular degeneration cases from materializing, then all the better.

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