Saffron Protects Against Macular Degeneration By Margie King, Health Coach via Natural Blaze
Age-related macular degeneration is on the rise. This ancient spice may save your sight.
As Baby Boomers mature en masse, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is on the rise.
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among people 50 and older. It affects more than 1.75 million people in the U.S. and is expected to strike as many as 3 million in the next five years. Fortunately, an ancient spice may provide just the protection you need.
The macula is the small spot near the center of the retina. The eye needs it for central vision to see objects straight ahead. When the macula becomes damaged, it severely limits your ability to see things in your central line of vision.
As age-related macular degeneration progresses, a blurred area develops near the center of your vision. In addition, objects may not appear as sharp or bright as they used to. Colors seem faded. That loss of central vision can interfere with daily activities like recognizing faces, reading, driving, working, cooking, or watching TV.
But we also know that people who exercise and eat green leafy vegetables and fish have a lower risk of developing the disease.
Recent studies have found certain nutrients protect against the progression of AMD. Researchers at the National Eye Institute conducted two Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2).[i]
The first AREDS study showed that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper reduce the risk of late-stage AMD by 25%.
AREDS2 found that a combination of lutein and zeaxanthin with vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper further reduced the risk of late-stage AMD.
Other studies show that rosemary may protect against macular degeneration.
And a study from Australian and Italian researchers shows the Mediterranean spice saffron helps slow progression of AMD and improve vision.
The researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of people with early stage AMD. One group in the study supplemented with 20 mg per day of saffron. After just 90 days the researchers saw significant improvement in the saffron group.[ii]