|Vitamin B complex benefits the eyes and especially the macula according to an observational study reported on in the Archives of Internal Medicine in February of 2009.|
An observational study of 5442 female health care professionals 40 years or older with preexisting cardiovascular disease or 3 or more cardiovascular disease risk factors was conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
"Examine the incidence of age related macular degeneration in a trial of combined folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), and cyanocobalamin (vitamin B 12) therapy."
Participants were randomly assigned to receive a combination of:
1. Folic Acid (2.5 mg/d),
2. Vitamin B6 (50 mg/d) and
3. Vitamin B12 (1 mg/d)
After an average of 7.3 years of treatment and follow-up, there were
55 cases of AMD in the combination treatment group and
82 cases of AMD in the placebo group
(relative risk, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.47-0.93 [P = .02]).
For visually significant AMD, there were
26 cases of AMD in the combination treatment group and
44 cases of AMD in the placebo group
(relative risk, 0.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.36-0.95 [P = .03]
The conclusions of this study were:
"These randomized trial data from a large cohort of women at high risk of cardiovascular disease indicate that daily supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 may reduce the risk of AMD."
Vitamin B complex benefits for macular degeneration seem to involve homocysteine levels.
As reported in Science News, February 234, 2009
"Increased homocysteine levels have been shown in many studies involving age-related macular degeneration," says ophthalmologist Sibel Kadayifcilar of Hacettepe University Medical School in Ankara, Turkey.
"However, we still don't know whether homocysteine is causative or only a marker." Meanwhile, other research shows that a vitamin B-12 deficiency is a risk factor for macular degeneration."
"Who is most at risk for having a vitamin B12 deficiency? Elderly people who tend to have impaired digestion are one of the most susceptible populations. This is because older people tend to produce less stomach acid that is needed to convert vitamin B12 properly," writes Dr. Axe in his article Vitamin B12 Benefits That You’re Probably Missing.