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Life Extension Update

January 7, 2006 Printer Friendly
In this issue
 

Life Extension Update Exclusive

   

Elevated homocysteine linked with macular degeneration risk

 

What's Hot

   

Dietary antioxidants substantially lower macular degeneration risk

 

Protocol

   

Macular Degeneration

 

Featured Products

   

Complete B Complex

   

Super Zeaxanthin with Lutein

 

Life Extension Magazine

   

Purchase your Life Extension supplements for the new year and save during Super Sale!

Life Extension Update Exclusive

Elevated homocysteine linked with macular degeneration risk

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon discovered that having a high level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Homocysteine is an amino acid that, when elevated in the blood, is a biomarker for cardiovascular disease. The findings were published in the January issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary director of epidemiology Johanna M. Seddon, MD and colleagues measured fasting plasma homocysteine in 934 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). Five hundred and forty seven men and women diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration and 387 subjects without the disease were included in the current analysis.

The team found that median homocysteine levels were higher among those with advanced macular degeneration than in those without the disease or with mild AMD. Additionally, homocysteine levels over 12 micromoles per liter, which are considered to be high, were associated with increased macular degeneration risk. The authors propose several reasons for homocysteine's influence on increasing the risk of macular degeneration, including oxidative injury to endothelial cells, increased peroxidation of low-density lipoprotein and altered blood clotting mechanisms.

Dr Seddon summarized, "We found that elevated homocysteine in the blood may be another biomarker for increased risk of AMD. Homocysteine can be reduced by dietary intake of vitamins B6, B12, and folate, so the relationship between this amino acid and AMD deserves further study."

What's Hot

Dietary antioxidants substantially lower macular degeneration risk

A report published in the December 28, 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that individuals whose diets contain high amounts of the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc have a significantly lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than people whose diets contain lower levels of the nutrients. Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of permanent blindness in the developed world. An earlier study found that supplements containing 5 to 13 times the recommended daily allowance of these nutrients slowed the progression of the disease.

http://www.lef.org/whatshot/index.htm#dasl

Protocol

Macular degeneration

Oxidative stress that reduces blood flow to the eye and increases the level of free radicals is a contributing factor to both wet and dry macular degeneration. This occurs when naturally occurring antioxidants are present in decreased concentrations. Diminished levels of glutathione occur during aging, which makes the lens nucleus susceptible to oxidative stress-induced clouding. Decreased vitamin C, normally highly concentrated in the aqueous humor and corneal epithelium, is less effective in helping absorb ultraviolet radiation and preventing cataracts than when present in high concentration. Deficiencies in L-carnosine and vitamin E also mitigate oxidative stress and free-radical damage.

Glutathione and vitamin C are antioxidants found in high concentrations in the healthy eye and in diminished quantities in AMD patients. Vitamin C aids in glutathione synthesis in the eye. When it is combined with cysteine, an amino acid antioxidant, cysteine remains stable in aqueous solutions and is a precursor to glutathione synthesis. Vitamin C is important because it absorbs ultraviolet radiation and prevents cataracts.

The largest and most important study on the relationship of nutritional supplements and AMD is the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). AREDS was the first large study to show a benefit of antioxidant and zinc supplementation on the progression of AMD and associated vision loss. Thousands of patients were followed for over six years. AREDS revealed significant improvements for patients with AMD and recommended antioxidants plus zinc (with copper) for most patients with AMD, except for advanced cases in both eyes. The AREDS recipe consists of the following daily: Vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper.

http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-071.shtml

Featured Products

Complete B Complex Capsules

Many B-complex products contain the same amount of each B vitamin. On the other hand, studies have shown that pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) has an ideal daily dose of over 700 mg. Complete B-complex contains potent, but safe, and different amounts of the B-vitamins.

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Super Zeaxanthin with Lutein

The carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein, found in the macular region of the eye, help shield eyes from sunrays, computer screens and other harmful forms of light that over time can cause photo-oxidative damage to the eyes. These fat-soluble antioxidants are uniquely able to absorb the most damaging portions of the light spectrum, helping to protect the lens, retina, and macula. In fact, zeaxanthin and lutein have been called "conditionally essential nutrients" because of their critical protective functions in the eye.

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Super Sale

Purchase your Life Extension supplements for the new year and save during Super Sale!

During this special limited-time event, we’re lowering prices across our entire inventory of supplements and nutrients by 10%! But the huge savings occur when you purchase multiple bottles. Because of these savings, many of our members stock up on several months supply of products during the annual Super Sale.

Plus, Life Extension members continue to enjoy the same great 25% member discount throughout Super Sale. So, as a member, you can combine member, multi-bottle, and Super Sale discounts on your applicable order, and pay less than wholesale!

http://www.lef.org/supersale

If you have questions or comments concerning this issue or past issues of Life Extension Update, send them to ddye@lifeextension.com or call 954 202 7716.

For longer life,

Dayna Dye
Editor, Life Extension Update
ddye@lifeextension.com
954 766 8433 extension 7716

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