Macular DegenerationVitamins

Vitamin D and age-related macular degeneration

Researchers from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey report that vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) might protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

First, the details.

  • Fundus photographs (pictures of the back of the eye) from more than 7500 patients (11% with AMD) taken from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were evaluated.
  • These findings were related to blood levels of vitamin D and early and advanced AMD.

And, the results.

  • Overall, the highest vitamin D blood levels were associated with a 40% lower risk of early AMD but not advanced AMD.
  • Drinking more milk was associated with a lower prevalence of early AMD.
  • Consistent use of vitamin D from supplements was associated with less early AMD only in people who did not consume milk daily.

Dr. Niyati Parekh says the benefits of vitamin D might be due to an “anti-inflammatory effect or by preventing the growth of new blood vessels in the retina, which contributes to some forms of AMD.”

The bottom line?
Got milk?

5/24/07 19:45 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.