Supplements of vitamin C and vitamin E are recommended by ophthalmologists for patients at risk of macular degeneration, the health column "People's Pharmacy'' reports in the Los Angeles Times.
Columnists Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon responded to a reader's question asking: "I have just learned that members of my family have macular degeneration and that it is hereditary. A doctor recommended vitamins with zinc for this condition. How effective are such supplements?''
The answer stated, "Ophthalmologists have long recommended antioxidant vitamins with zinc for patients at risk of age-related macular degeneration. In this condition, the retina deteriorates and central vision needed for reading or driving is gradually lost.''
Vitamins C and E have been cited in a major study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology as working against macular degeneration, in combination with beta-carotene, zinc and copper.
The study suggests vitamins C and Vitamin E, when combined with zinc, "might lower the likelihood of developing this condition by 25 per cent,'' the columnists wrote.
Supplements used in the published study were 500 milligrams of Vitamin C, 400 international units of vitamin E, 15 milligrams of beta-carotene, 80 milligrams of zinc and two milligrams of copper.
The study cited was conducted by the National Eye Institute. The Institute claims that the vitamin and mineral supplements could save the eyesight of more than 300,000 people.