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Vitamin D may help protect women against advanced AMD

Researchers have discovered a strong protective association between Vitamin D and the prevalence of early macular degeneration. It is believed that Vitamin D affects the immune system and helps protect against inflammatory diseases. Women who are deficient in vitamin D may be at a higher risk of developing macular degeneration. 1894 women participated in the Carotenoids in Age-related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS) and were between the ages of 50-79. Participants completed a questionnaire regarding their diet and sunlight exposure. Women younger than 75 years who had higher concentrations of vitamin D had 48% decreased odds of developing early macular degeneration. The findings of the study support the previous observation that vitamin D status may offer protection against developing macular degeneration. Researchers emphasize that more studies are needed to confirm this association and to better understand the potential interaction between vitamin D levels and genetic and lifestyle factors as they relate to the risk of developing early macular degeneration.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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