Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 60. Prevention of AMD is key since the treatments we have don’t really work and part of our answer may be in vitamin D. High levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream may help protect against early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in women younger than 75, according to a recent study.
Vitamin D has both anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties, and might suppress the inflammatory cascade leading to AMD. Serum 25(OH) D, which can be measured on a routine blood test, reflects vitamin D exposure from diet, supplements and sunlight, making it the preferred marker for determining your vitamin D status.
In women aged 50-79, a 25(OH)D concentration higher than 38 nmol/L had a significant 48% decrease in the odds of early AMD. Women who consumed the most vitamin D (food or supplements) had a 59% decreased odds of developing early AMD, compared with women who consumed the least vitamin D.
These data support previous observations that vitamin D status may potentially protect against development of AMD.
It seems every month we get more news on the benefits of vitamin D. More studies are necessary to confirm this association with AMD but it’s easy to ask your doctor for a Vitamin D level to be measured at your next physical, and if it’s lower than 38 nmol/L get to work on raising it.