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Study Shows Link Between Macular Pigment and Alzheimer’s

A new study which was carried out for BBC’s ‘Trust Me, I’m A Doctor’ programme has found a strong link between the levels of macular pigment and Alzheimer’s disease.

This new discovery means that getting your bi-annual eye exam could help you spot the signs of early Alzheimer’s much sooner than before.

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In 2014, The Journal of Alzeheimer’s Disease published a study of 36 patients with early Alzheimer’s disease as well as 33 control subjects in the same age range.

All 69 subjects were tested for levels of macular pigment using something known as the heterochromatic flicker photometry technique, and all subjects were also assessed on their cognitive and visual ability.

The results of this study did indeed find a link between low levels of pigments and the symptoms Alzeheimer’s Disease; together with many other studies conducted before it. The 2014 experiment revealed that low carotenoids could precede the common disease or provide an early indication for it.

The BBC’s ‘Trust Me, I’m A Doctor’ programme combined the information from this previous study with their own study, one which involved testing a select group with vitamin supplements for eye health against healthy smoothies.

The supplement was seen to increase levels of lutein pigment and the level of macular pigment in the eye. Dr. Moseley, who conducted the experiment on himself for the programme, suggested that these supplements could perhaps also help to prevent Alzheimer’s in later life.

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Additionally, the BBC’s programme also revealed at the end of the experiment that the group who took smoothies for five weeks instead of the supplement showed little or no sign of improvement.

So whilst healthy eating and superfoods should always be encouraged, this study could suggest that eye health supplements are much more beneficial and work much more quickly. The results also tell us that supplements should be used as an add-on to a healthy diet.

Studies in the past have also shown that UV rays can damage pigment cells in the retina, so if you want to ensure the best eye health, sunglasses are essential all year round. For special prescription sunglasses, take a look at our current range online at SelectSpecs and for regular eye health news, don’t forget to keep checking in on our blog.

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