Health

Vitamin B and macular degeneration

A new study says taking B vitamins can prevent a common type of vision loss in older women.

More than one-third of Canadians between the ages of 55 and 74 develop age-related macular degeneration, a condition that makes it difficult to see. There were 78,000 new cases reported in this country last year — the majority of them in women.

The women in the study who took a combination of B vitamins — B-6, folic acid and B-12 — reduced their risk of this irreversible condition by more than one-third compared to women taking taking a placebo.

Smoking obesity, and a family history are the biggest risk factors for macular degeneration, and avoiding smoking was the only known way to prevent it. Now, researchers think they may have found a new prevention method through vitamin supplements. And they figure this finding should also apply to men.

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