According to a study, a combination of Vitamins B12, B6 and Folic Acid, may reduce the risk of women developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by 34%.
Over 5,400 women age 40 and above participated in this double-blind clinical trial. Women with heart disease or at least 3 risk factors for the disease were recruited to participate in this study. 96% of the participants did not have AMD at the onset of the study. The participants were randomly assigned to receive a combination of Folic Acid (2.5 mg/daily), Vitamin B6 (50 mg/daily), and Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg/daily) or a placebo. The intervention period lasted 7.3 years and included follow up.
Researchers documented 137 new cases of AMD with only 70 cases being visually significant. The combined supplement of the B Vitamins was associated with a 34% reduced risk of any AMD and a 41% lower risk of visually significant AMD. The benefits of the B Vitamin supplementation became noticeable after approximately 3 years of follow and lasted throughout the intervention period.
Researchers believe that lowering homcysteine levels and the antioxidants effects of the nutrients in addition to improvements in the functioning of the blood vessels found in the eye were responsible for the favorable study results.
Approximately 25 to 30 million people worldwide experience AMD yet awareness of the condition is very low. It is believed that AMD will triple by the year 2025 as baby boomers get older. AMD is a disease of the retina that is degenerative and causes the loss of central vision leaving only peripheral vision. Early detection is cited as a means of prevention.
Further studies are in the works.
Now here is a little basic information about B Vitamins:
Collectively, all B-Vitamins are called B-Complex. The Vitamins B-1, B-2 and B-6 should be taken in equal strengths, as should Choline and Inositol. B-Complex Vitamins are active providing the body with energy, basically by converting carbohydrates into glucose which the body then burns to produce energy. B Complex Vitamins are also vital in the metabolism of protein and fat. The B Vitamins are necessary for normal functioning of the central nervous system and may be the single most important factor for the health of nerves. During times of stress the nervous system can become depleted of B Vitamins. Stressful situations include physical or emotional overwork, infection or injury, fad or poor dieting, excessive alcohol or drug use and intense sports and workout. Other B- Vitamin functions include muscle tone maintenance in the gastrointestinal tract as well as skin, hair, eyes, mouth and liver health. A B- Vitamin deficiency can cause fatigue or low energy levels, affect the inability to handle stress, nervousness and result in poor hair and skin condition.
B-Vitamins are water soluble which means they are not stored but remain within cells and in the bloodstream for just a few hours. What is not used in this short period of time is excreted from the body as waste. Most people take a controlled released form of water soluble supplements to insure the most absorption. Controlled release is a process used in manufacturing water soluble supplements that provide a prolonged dispersion of these water soluble vitamins throughout the day (Up to 12 hours). Controlled release allows the water soluble nutrients to be released into the bloodstream more slowly, over a prolonged period of time, at a rate that allows tissues to efficiently absorb and utilize them.
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