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Vitamin D Prevents Age Related Vision Loss

Vitamin D  Prevents Age Related Vision Loss | Mr Vitamins

Vitamin D supplements key to retaining great eyesight into later life

A healthy retina, the layer of tissue at the back of your eyes, is essential for good vision. In fact, when you consider its actual size, the retina requires more energy than any other tissue in the body. This high-energy demand can eventually lead to problems as you age: there is progressive inflammation, and the blood vessels that supply the retina with blood become clogged. By the time you reach 70, as much as 30% of the retinal cells that detect light might be gone, and your vision becomes blurred and poor.

What can you do to prevent deterioration in your eyesight?

A recent study by a team of researchers at University College London suggests that taking Vitamin D supplements regularly might actually prevent this and help you retain the vision of a younger person as the years go by.

Exciting results of  Vitamin D study

The team headed by Professor Glen Jeffery gave Vitamin D supplements to older mice over a six-week period, and when they studied their retinas at the end of this period they observed that inflammation was reduced, compared to those who had not received the Vitamin D. The number of cells that cause damage to the tissues (known as macrophages) went down, and the ones remaining changed to a non-damaging mode. The researchers also observed that the levels of amyloid beta (a toxic compound that accumulates with age and is known to have a role in Alzheimer’s disease) were lower than expected in the mice that had received the supplements. These mice also had better vision when they were tested for this.

Vitamin D protects against Macular Degeneration

Amyloid beta in the retina increases the risk of developing macular degeneration (AMD) as you age. In developed countries, this is the most important cause of blindness in people over 50. Taking Vitamin D supplements regularly could therefore protect you against this devastating disease that has a huge impact in the quality of life experienced by elderly people.

Western world lifestyle causes Vitamin D deficiencies

The evolutionary history of the human race can help to explain the close link between Vitamin D deficiencies and age-related diseases. Our ancestors evolved in the African plains and were likely exposed to strong sunlight all year round during their entire lives. Sunlight triggers the production of Vitamin D in the skin, and therefore, they must have enjoyed a large supply. But as they moved to less sunny parts of the world and started to cover up to keep warm exposure to direct sunlight must have dropped dramatically. This in turn could have caused a deficiency of Vitamin D. According to Professor Jeffery, the evidence suggesting that many of us in the Western world are deficient in Vitamin D keeps growing.

How do I know if I am getting enough Vitamin D to prevent vision loss and Macular Degeneration?

In light of this evidence, should you start taking a Vitamin D supplement regularly? The research emphasizes that full clinical trials should be run to verify that what is true for mice is also true for humans.  In the meantime, if you are concerned about keeping your vision in good shape, you might want to consider including  a daily Vitamin D supplement. To find the best answer for you, come in to the Mr Vitamins store and ‘Ask a Naturopath’.  It is only through talking to a professional qualified Naturopath that you can receive the right advice for your particular needs.  Our Naturopaths are always available to speak to you, they can ask specific questions to determine your health needs, and recommend any supplements they feel would be of benefit to you.