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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Eye Vitamins

      Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the US for people over the age of 50. The disease damages the small area near the center of your retina, the macula, causing vision loss in the center of your visual field. There’s no effective treatment and it generally worsens with time. 
     About the only recommendation doctors make is that Preser Vision AREDS 2 be taken. They are not cheap. A bottle of 120 (a 60 day supply) costs about $31. 
     There are a lot of other eye supplements available, but not all contain the proper formulation. An article in the March 2015 issue of Ophthalmology stated only four contained the right mix and they were all by PreserVision. Other brands may contain the same ingredients, but not in the right dosage. Some added other ingredients that have not been shown to work and might, in fact, actually reduce the effectiveness of the ingredients that do work. 
     The other day while shopping at Target I discovered their propietary brand that compares to AREDS 2...VisionShield Eye Health Mini Softgels which costs $18 for 120 capsules. 
     The VisionShield vitamins have doubled the amount of Copper. Copper, acting as an antioxidant, encourages the development of flexible connective tissue for proper eye structure. It binds with zinc, and the two should be supplemented together. Copper is added to eye formulas to prevent copper-deficiency anemia, which can occur if large amounts of zinc are consumed.
     Zinc is an essential trace mineral or "helper molecule." It plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid, the vascular tissue layer lying under the retina. 
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t test or approve supplements and they are not evaluated or regulated for efficacy or safety.
Do not take this medicine with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium. Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb certain minerals. Also,vitamin and mineral supplements can interact with certain medications or affect how they work, so ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use multivitamins and minerals if you are also using any of the following drugs: tretinoin or isotretinoin, an antacid, an antibiotic, a diuretic, heart or blood pressure medications, a sulfa drug or one of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that consist of ibuprofen or naproxen.

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