The much-maligned vitamin D has benefits for pensioners, according to new research. Scientists found that vitamin D, betaine and methionine, might help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, based on a long-term twins study.
The team at Tufts Medical Center also found that the more a person smoked, the higher their risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Genetic factors are key in AMD, determining up to 71% of the severity. But a healthy diet and lifestyle can protect muscles into old age. Nutritionists recmmend a diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, and a vitamin D supplement may also help
Macular degeneration can progress so slowly it takes years for serious vision loss to occur but it can also develop rapidly, causing severe vision loss that can make it difficult to drive, read or conduct daily tasks.
Vitamin D may reduce the risk of macular degeneration because it has anti-inflammatory properties, the study concluded.
“We wanted to know why, if they have the same genes, do they have different stages of the disease?’’ said lead researcher Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM, Director of the Epidemiology and Genetics Service, Tufts Medical Center, and Professor of Ophthalmology, Tufts Universtity School of Medicine.
“Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, and that can make a difference - even if you have a genetic susceptibility to macular degeneration."