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The Role of Nutritional Supplements in the Progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration

Agtmaal, I. van (2014) The Role of Nutritional Supplements in the Progression of Age-related Macular Degeneration. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness in people aged over 55 in Western countries. Because the proportion of the aged population is increasing and there are limited therapeutic options, AMD is becoming an important condition worldwide. This review describes the pathogenesis of AMD and current literature on the role of certain nutritional supplements in the progression of AMD. Genetic factors, oxidative stress, apoptosis, angiogenesis and inflammation might be involved in the AMD pathogenesis. Genetic and environmental components that can influence the risk for developing AMD include age, smoking, BMI, and genetic variants like CFH Y402H, ARMS2 A69S and C3 R102G. Several small trials have investigated the association between diet, nutrient intake and AMD. The largest study investigating the effect of nutritional supplements on the progression of AMD is the Age- Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). AREDS demonstrated that 5-year intake of a combination of oral supplements consisting of antioxidants (β-carotene, vitamin C, E), minerals, zinc and copper could reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD by 25%. Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin B and the ω-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA have also been reported to decrease AMD progression. However, the AREDS2 study showed no overall improvement of the original AREDS formula when adding lutein, zeaxanthin, EPA and DHA. Recommendations in the current literature on whether or not people with AMD should take antioxidant or ω3-LCPUFA supplements are primarily based on the results of the AREDS study. Although other trials have been done, they have generally been small and of short duration, resulting in inconclusive results. Although some results have been promising, there is insufficient evidence in the literature to recommend routine nutritional supplementation for slowing down AMD progression. Further large scale and sample randomised controlled trials need to be done in this area to provide sufficient evidence for the use of nutritional supplements in AMD.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:02
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:02

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