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It has been realized through clinical trials that taking vitamins C and E do not prevent macular degeneration from happening in aging eyes. This is the main cause for loss of vision in older adults.
Researchers wanted to find that the antioxidants, vitamins E and C would guard the tissue breakdown which macular degeneration causes. This eye problem damages the retina's center. The result is that the person has problems seeing fine details.
Past studies have discovered that individuals who intake more antioxidants as part of their everyday diet can reduce their risk for getting macular degeneration. However, this does not mean that other lifestyle and dietary habits could be part of this link.
Up to now, all the clinical trials on vitamin E have provided no results on this matter. The most recent study happens to also be the one performed the longest and it tested vitamin E with men along with vitamin C by itself according to William G. Christen who is a researchers from Harvard Medical School out of Boston among other establishments. It discovered no favorable results with older men taking either vitamin over an eight-year period.
According to Christen, no single study the last word about what effect vitamins has on macular degeneration. However, so far, the results off no proof that taking vitamins C or E can prevent vision issues from occurring.
The report is in the Ophthalmology journal and is part of ongoing research involving over 14,000 male doctors in the US that are 50 years of age or older. These doctors are assigned at random to take either a placebo or 400 IU (international units) of vitamin E every other day in conjunction with either a placebo or 500mg of vitamin C. This would lead to some men taking both vitamins, some men taking just one of the vitamins or some men taking no vitamins at all.
After the study ran for eight years, there were 193 of the men that developed the macular degeneration to the point that it negatively affected their vision. However, it was almost the same risk whether they took the placebo or the vitamins.
There are approximately 7.2 million individuals in the United States that have macular degeneration on some level, and 890,000 of these people have it on an advanced level. However, there is some proof that new outbreaks of it are decreasing.
Research performed last year shows not even 7% of Americans 40 years old or older have developed macular degeneration. This is a significant decrease compared to the research done during the 1990s, which reported over 9%. Researchers are unclear as to why the decrease happened, but they feel it is tied to the decline in the number of people smoking.
Christen and his team reports that base on current research, vitamins E and C will most likely not have a positive impact on the occurrence of macular degeneration as far as the early-age variety. The researchers do admit the test subjects were basically well-nourished; results could be different with a more mal-nourished group.