Nutrients reduce chances for common eye diseases


Manganese and glaucoma
A good balance of essential mineral elements, and lower levels of toxic trace metals in the body may reduce chances for many diseases, including conditions affecting the eye, such as glaucoma. In this study, doctors analyzed mineral and metals levels in 2,680 men and women over the age of 19.

Comparing mineral and trace metals levels with diagnoses of glaucoma, those who did not have glaucoma had manganese levels 9.1 percent higher than those with glaucoma. People with the highest circulating  levels of manganese were 56 percent less likely to develop glaucoma compared to those with the lowest levels of manganese.

Doctors also found those with the lowest levels of mercury tended not to have a diagnosis of glaucoma, and concluded mercury may play a role in developing this eye disease.

Vitamin D and AMD
Having an immediate relative with age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, can signal a greater genetic tendency to develop the disease because an inefficient immune system does not effectively eliminate pathogens.  Doctors also believe inflammation  plays a role in AMD, and wanted to test for a link to the anti-inflammatory, vitamin D.

Researchers compared 913 women with and without the genetic tendency to develop AMD, and measured vitamin D levels. Women who were deficient in vitamin D and who also had the genetic tendency toward AMD were more than six times as likely to develop the disease compared with women with healthy genes and good vitamin D levels.

Discussing the findings, doctors said for women whose genetic makeup raises chances for AMD, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels may increase chances for healthy eyesight.

Reference: JAMA Ophthalmology; August, 2015, Published Online

Natural Insights for Well Being December 2015

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