Mayo Clinic Sees Vitamin E, Antioxidant Study As 'Positive Proof' Supplements Help Eyesight

WASHINGTON, May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A new book just published by the Mayo Clinic finds "positive proof" of the role dietary supplements including Vitamin E can play in preserving eyesight.

In "Mayo Clinic on Vision and Eye Health," doctors pointed to successful use of Vitamin E, combined with other vitamins and minerals, in lowering the risk of macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is a chronic disease that is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people aged 50 years or older.

But a recent study -- the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, or AREDS -- "showed the impact of dietary supplements on people at high risk of developing the advanced stages of macular degeneration," the Mayo publication said.

People in the study group were able to lower the risk of macular degeneration by 25 percent and lower their risk of vision loss due to the disease by 19 percent. The risk reduction, the Mayo authors said, came from a combination of Vitamin E with other vitamins and minerals. "Here was positive proof of the role dietary supplements can play in preserving your eyesight," the Mayo Clinic book said.

The publication noted the health role of Vitamin E, Vitamin C and other dietary supplements as antioxidants -- "vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help maintain healthy cells and tissues."

"Your body -- and your eyes -- use antioxidants to combat free radicals when too many are in your bloodstream," the book said. Free radicals damage normal cells in a process called oxidation, which is thought to play a role in development of cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, "as well as a host of other diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease," the Mayo authors said.

The Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., has published health information since 1983.

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