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Zinc can help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Research that was presented at the recent Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting showed that oral zinc supplementssuch as those found in the VisiVite i-Defense formulas may cause gene expression changes in the eye that could prevent age-related macular degeneration. Researchers gave supplemental water to three groups of 10-month old female rats and isolated RNA in one eye. By using the aged rats for an extended period of time, researchers were able to closely mimic the use of zinc supplementation in age-related macular degeneration. The results of the study showed that zinc affected 738 genes represented in the Ingenuity database. Zinc supplementation had the most affect on the following cellular functions: cell death, carbohydrate metabolism, small molecule biochemistry, cellular compromise and cell morphology. Researchers concluded that the evidence from the study demonstrated that zinc has the ability to modify essential processes within the ocular tissue, particularly the RPE cell layer, and can help prevent age-related macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer  

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