Vitamin see

I’ve mentioned homocysteine before–in particular, how high levels of this amino acid are linked to heart disease. But the tiny blood vessels in your eyes are just as susceptible to this substance’s negative effects.

On the bright side, the solution might be simpler than you think.

A recent study looked at how homocysteine levels–as well as levels of vitamin B-12 and folate–affect risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in older adults.

Researchers adjusted for several obvious factors affecting vision–like age, smoking status, and even fish consumptions. And they still found that high homocysteine levels increased risk of AMD significantly over a 10-year period.

But that’s not all. This study also found that folate deficiency was associated with an 89 percent higher risk of AMD of any type. And B-12 deficiency was linked to higher risk of both early and late AMD, as well.

B-12 supplementation, on the other hand, was associated with a 47 percent reduction of risk. And I can’t really say I’m surprised. It’s one of the reasons I’ve included a range of B vitamins in the IV protocol that I prescribe for patients with AMD.

But even a simple B-complex can help to make a major difference in the long run.

“Homocysteine, folate, vitamin B-12, and 10-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul;98(1):129-35.