Nutritional Supplements: Has the Fringe Become the Cutting Edge?
Just a few years ago, doctors were telling their patients that multivitamins were a waste of time and money and that you could get all the nutrients you need from your diet. In the June 2002 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, the AMA reversed its long-standing anti-vitamin policy and began advising all adults to take at least one multivitamin pill each day. What was once considered fringe medicine or quackery has now become cutting edge medicine.
It is estimated that over 80% of Americans do not eat at least five helpings of fruits and vegetables a day, the recommended minimum amount believed to provide sufficient essential nutrients. Humans don’t make their own vitamins and minerals, except for some Vitamin D, and we must get them from outside sources to prevent degenerative disease.
There is also growing concern that the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals, or the RDA, are set too low. RDAs were originally established to prevent the symptoms of vitamin deficiency disorders, not to prevent disease itself. The National Academy of Sciences is now looking at its recommendations based on the new evidence that has been released.
We now know that vitamins, minerals and herbs can prevent and treat degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration, cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and birth defects just to name a few. In this chapter we will discuss specific vitamins, minerals and other supplements that are proving to be effective in the battle against AMD.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)
For years, cutting edge eye doctors have been recommending antioxidants for AMD patients, many times enduring criticism from their fellow doctors who are entrenched in orthodox medicine. That all changed in October 2001 when the National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute released the results of The Age-Related Eye Disease Study which conclusively Ibutamoren MK-677 stated that patients with extensive AMD could benefit from certain high doses of antioxidants and minerals. While the study was not complete in terms of evaluating all of the possible nutrients that can help AMD, it did come out with findings that 25-27 percent of patients with advanced AMD could preserve their vision and prevent further vision loss by taking specific antioxidants plus zinc. The study did not evaluate the effect of nutritional supplements on those with early or moderate stages of AMD, which in the author’s opinion is the group that stands to benefit the most from nutritional therapy.