This is a common question asked of our doctors during eye exams. Those with early signs of macular degeneration (AMD) are becoming increasingly more aware of what they can do to reduce their risk for vision loss (see article above). A lot of these folks are also taking several medications for other conditions, and are naturally wanting to reduce the total number of “pills” they have to take each day. So, can a good diet remove the need to take vitamin supplements for those with AMD?
A study called the AREDS2, released in 2013 showed that those with AMD who consumed enough anti-oxidants were less likely to lose vision from the condition vs. those that did not. Among the key nutrients studied were Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are found in high amounts like leafy dark greens and berries. The study showed that 10mg of Lutein and 2mg of Zeaxanthin was required daily to get the desired benefit. This equates to one entire 6 oz. bag of spinach each and every day (about 4 cups)! This would of course be difficult to do, so the correct approved supplement is highly recommended to ensure you are getting enough anti oxidant vitamins in combination with a good daily diet.
Other considerations to ensure you are getting maximum benefit from your efforts to get a balanced diet :