Macular Degeneration Information

Comparison: VisiVite vs. Ocuvite vs. ICaps

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What are the facts? For which types of macular degeneration are the vitamins helpful?
   

Knowledge about macular degeneration vitamins is rapidly changing. The National Eye Institute's Age Related Eye Disease Study (known as "AREDS") was the first study to demonstrate slowing disease with high dose supplements. Newer studies have shown visual improvement when similar anti-oxidants are combined with concentrated levels of Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

  

 

The National Institutes of Health found that certain vitamins slowed the progression of intermediate and severe macular degeneration, including both dry and wet forms. The Lutein Anti-Oxidant Supplementation Trial demonstrated visual improvement when similar vitamins were combined with 10 mg or more of daily Lutein. And Zeaxanthin has been shown to be the carotenoid found in the highest concentration in the center of healthy maculas.

What are the differences among these supplements?
 

Among the AREDS Formulas, VisiVite Original Formula requires one capsule twice daily, whereas Ocuvite Preservision and ICaps AREDS require two capsules twice daily. Additionally, VisiVite offers formulas designed for people with a current or previous smoking history which does not contain Beta Carotene. Only VisiVite offers formulas that include high dose anti-oxidants combined with therapeutic amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

 

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Why was this study so important? Which vitamins do we recommend?
   

This study was widely accepted in the medical community as being the first and only study to prove true efficacy against this visually debilitating disease.

 

 

We do not recommend one manufacturer or the other. However, it is our goal to educate consumers that only certain ingredients have been PROVEN to of benefit in treating macular degeneration. Avoid purchasing vitamins that have unproven benefits, even when they sound convincing. Information comparing vitamins and their availability is listed below.

 

ProductDaily Capsules
or Tablets required

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Cost Per Year
VisiVite Original Formula

2

Duplicates AREDS formula. Made with Natural Vitamin E.$173.40
VisiVite i-Defense
Yellow Formula
2Based upon AREDS Formula. Reduced Zinc for improved tolerability. 10 mg of FloraGLO brand Lutein added. Made with Natural Vitamin E.$221.40
VisiVite i-Defense
Red Formula
2Most popular formula for smokers and former habitual smokers. No Beta Carotene.
Reduced Zinc for improved tolerability. 15 mg of FloraGLO brand Lutein added. Made with Natural Vitamin E.
$221.40
VisVite i-Defense
Gold Formula
2Most complete formula for non-smokers. Based on AREDS Formula. Reduced Zinc for improved tolerability. Adds 15 mg of FloraGLO brand Lutein and 4.75 mg of ZeaVision brand Zeaxanthin. Multiple additional anti-oxidants, including Bilberry, L-glutathione, Selenium, Alpha lipoic acid and Grape seed extract. Made with Natural Vitamin E.$305.40
VisiVite i-Defense Green Formula2

 

Most complete formula for smokers and former habitual smokers. No Beta Carotene. Based on AREDS Formula. Reduced Zinc for improved tolerability. Adds 15 mg of FloraGLO brand Lutein and 4.75 mg of ZeaVision brand Zeaxanthin. Multiple additional anti-oxidants, including Bilberry, L-glutathione, Selenium, Alpha lipoic acid and Grape seed extract. Made with Natural Vitamin E.$305.40
Ocuvite Preservision4Duplicates AREDS formula. Made with Synthetic Vitamin E.$207.35
ICaps AREDS Formula4Duplicates AREDS formula. Made with Synthetic Vitamin E.$203.88

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Macular Degeneration Information

 
Macular Degeneration Vitamins - High doses of certain dietary supplements provide the first effective treatment for the leading cause of vision loss among the elderly, a new nationwide clinical study has concluded.

The disease, macular degeneration, destroys the central portion of the retina, the light-gathering cells at the back of the eye. Among people who already have significant yellowish deposits accumulating at the back of their eyes the hallmark of the disease the supplements cut their risk of vision loss by one-fifth.

The macular degeneration vitamin supplements a combination of zinc and the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene did not appear to slow the early stages of the disease, when the yellowish deposits develop, but that is a normal part of aging and is not necessarily of concern. Almost everyone over age 70 has at least one or two of them.

As the disease progresses, the center of the field of view begins to blur, making it difficult to read, drive and recognize faces. Victims must rely on their peripheral vision, looking out of the corners of their eyes and missing much of the color and detail.

Glaucoma and cataracts strike more people than macular degeneration, but effective treatments exist for those diseases. This is the one disease for which there was nothing prior to this. At best, laser surgery can slow down the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the most severe cases of macular degeneration.

Earlier studies had indicated that people who eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables, which contain vitamins and beta-carotene, are at lower risk of developing macular degeneration. An earlier, smaller clinical study had suggested zinc might be helpful.

Among those whose disease had progressed to the intermediate stage, the zinc supplements reduced by 11 percent the risk of the disease progressing to the advanced stage, and the antioxidants reduced the risk by 10 percent. When the two were combined, the risk dropped by 19 percent. The study followed the participants for 6.5 years on average.

The daily dosages of the antioxidants used in the study were 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E and 15 milligrams of beta-carotene, a molecule that provides the color of carrots and sweet potatoes. The body converts the beta-carotene into vitamin A. The daily dosage of zinc was 80 milligrams with 2 milligrams of copper. High levels of zinc can cause a deficiency of copper in the body, which can lead to anemia.

Those amounts are well above the usual levels recommended by the Food and Drug Administration: three times as much vitamin A, eight times as much vitamin C, 13 times as much vitamin E and five times as much zinc.