Study shows vitamin D may combat age-related eye problems

Bryan Aldrige

January 16, 2012

Vitamin D may help prevent seniors from developing age-related eye diseasesA new study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Ophthalmology at the University College in London found that vitamin D may help keep age-related eye problems at bay. The researchers gave the vitamin to old mice for six weeks and saw a vast improvement in vision along with two main changes that positively impact the eye.

The changes were a decrease in macrophages in the eye, which can cause inflammation and other damaging effects, and a decrease in the toxic molecule amyloid beta, which contributes to age-related macular degeneration.

"When we gave older mice the vitamin D we found that deposits of amyloid beta were reduced in their eyes and the mice showed an associated improvement of vision," said Glen Jeffery, who led the study. "People might have heard of amyloid beta as being linked to Alzheimer's disease and new evidence suggests that vitamin D could have a role in reducing its build up in the brain."

Seniors with vision problems may have an increased risk of falling. Those who live independently may want to invest in a medical alert device, which can contact emergency services in the event of a fall.