A study published this month in Neurobiology of Aging suggests vitamin D may prevent deteriorating eyesight and blindness in older people.
Researchers from University College London looked at the effect of six weeks of vitamin D injections in safflower oil on age-related changes to the eyes of elderly mice. They compared these results to a control group, injected with only safflower oil.
The researchers found that in the vitamin D treated mice there were fewer macrophage cells, cells associated with causing inflammation. The treated mice also had less amyloid beta protein in the eyes, the protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans.
The authors state that there was a “significant improvement in visual function, revealing that vitamin D is a route to avoiding the pace of age-related decline… Excess amyloid beta and inflammation are risk factors leading to age-related degeneration (AMD), the largest cause of blindness in those older than 50 in developed countries…”
The authors call for further research on the subject to determine whether there could similar improvement seen among humans before they suggest supplementation.