|Trying to decide which macular degeneration vitamins to take?. Tozal are vitamins for macular degeneration developed by Dr. Edward Paul, a low vision specialist with a Ph.D. in nutrition. Dr. Paul's specialty is age-related macular degeneration (AMD).|
He graduated from Southern College of Optometry and also holds a Ph.D. in nutritional medicine.
His interest in nutrition and eye disease lead to the development of TOZAL, the first prescription supplement for the treatment and prevention of AMD.
He has served as professor of ophthalmology at two international medical schools and was chosen as one of “America’s Top Optometrists” by the Consumer’s Research Council. He is a Diplomate of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists and the author of several books, including Conquering Macular Degeneration: The Latest Breakthroughs and Treatments
and 101 Great Ways to Health.
1. Why should a person consider taking macular degeneration vitamins? Isn't a good diet enough?
It is nearly impossible to get all of the nutrients needed for the prevention and treatment of AMD in an normal American diet.
For example, the average American consumes only between 1 and 2 mg. of lutein per day – considerably less than the 6-10 mg. per day recommended for patients with AMD.
In order to get 10 mg. of lutein per day, one would have to eat 3 cups of spinach - everyday! I recommend that my patients follow a diet that reduces carbohydrates, incorporates fresh, leafy green vegetables, and emphasizes lean protein -- including fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel).
However, the bottom line is that a good diet is not enough to fight AMD.
2. What should a person look for in selecting their macular degeneration vitamins, i.e ingredients, quality, amounts, natural, bioavailability, ect.?
Look for a vitamin manufactured to pharmaceutical standards in a FDA approved manufacturing plant (which is not required by the FDA for over-the-counter vitamins).
TOZAL is a prescription only vitamin, manufactured to pharmaceutical standards in a FDA approved facility.
TOZAL has bioavailability exceeding 95% -- meaning that 95% of the nutrients listed on the label are available for absorption within 30 minutes. The average over-the-counter "eye vitamin" has a bioavailability rate of less than 50%.
3. What makes Tozal different from other macular degeneration vitamins, especially the AREDS and the AREDS2 vitamins?
TOZAL is the first vitamin to improve vision in patients with AMD.
In the original AREDS study we found that 27% of patients who took the formulation had a "slowing" in vision loss -- no one stabilized and no one improved.
In the TOZAL Study we found that 56% of patients who took TOZAL for six months experienced a statistically significant improvement in vision and another 21% stabilized -- resulting in 76% of patients either stabilizing or improving.
The AREDS2 formulation was based in part on the TOZAL formulation. The National Eye Institute is investigating the original AREDS formula with the addition of lutein, zeaxanthin, omega 3, from fish oil.
The study is underway and not expected to be complete until 2015, so we won't know the results of AREDS2 for several years.
4. Who would benefit from taking Tozal?
6. Why is Tozal only available as a prescription?
Just as fortified prenatal vitamins are only available by prescription,
TOZAL is a fortified AMD vitamin which requires monitoring by an eye doctor and as such meets the definition of a medical food by the FDA -- this requires a prescription under FDA guidelines.
This benefits the patient in that the doctor is assured the patient is receiving a pharmaceutical grade vitamin that incorporates the very latest scientific research.
It also may offer the patient a financial benefit in that many insurance companies are covering TOZAL in part or in full.
7. If someone wanted to start taking Tozal how would they go about getting it?
Ask your doctor if TOZAL is appropriate for you and, if so, ask them to write a prescription. There is an educational web site for both patients and doctors at
TOZAL is still a relatively new prescription vitamin and many doctors still are unaware of its existence.
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