Eye Say Let the Sun Shine!

Low levels of vitamin D expose women to a greater risk of AMD

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Noel Coward's famous command  "Mad dogs and Englishmen! Go out in the midday sun!", is a good command for women's eye health as well.  In a recent research study, women under 75 with high levels of vitamin D were much less likely to develop early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in adults.

Amy E. Millen, PhD, assistant professor in the University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions and lead author of this vitamin D study was interested in understanding good things vitamin D provides the body.

"Getting out in the sun and eating fatty fish protects your vision."

She commented, "The take-home message from this study is that having very low vitamin D status may be associated with increasing your odds of developing age-related macular degeneration, but based on these study findings, being at a higher vitamin D level than 38 nanomoles per liter does not appear to be more protective."

In other words, too much of a good thing won't give one any more protection than an adequate amount of vitamin D does.

The study's purpose was to investigate whether low vitamin D levels in women under 75 increased women's chances of developing AMD.

Dr. Millen believe spending a moderate amount of time outdoors, eating foods rich in vitamin D and eating foods fortified with vitamin D are good strategies to employ to increase vitamin D and decrease chances of developing AMD. 

In Depth

  • 1,313 women participated in this study
  • The study found it is related as women in the study who had blood concentrations above 38 nanomoles were liter had at least a 44 percent decrease in odds of having AMD
  • Blood samples measured the vitamin D in each woman
  • Vitamin D levels were found by using the blood measure of 25-hydroxyvitamin D
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 14, 2011
Last Updated:
April 17, 2011