Another reason to eat those leafy greens

Another reason to eat those leafy greens

Summary: We techies often list vision loss as a major worry since so much of our time is spent staring at displays.

TOPICS: Processors

Photo courtesy of Flickr user woodleywonderworks.

It's been all over the news this week, that increasing vitamin D intake from dietary sources like fresh cold water fish, leafy greens, milk, and cereal (especially oatmeal) can help stave off age-related macular degeneration in women. If you're so inclined, check out all 90 articles here.

Age-related macular degeneration (often referred to as AMD -- and not to be confused with the awesome chip-maker) is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans 65 and older.

Visual disability is a heartbreak for anyone. We techies often list it as a major worry since so much of our time is spent staring at displays. In fact, our ability to make a living is directly related to being able to continue to do so.

Age-related macular degeneration involves blurring at the center of the vision, and a gradual loss of central vision with a greater dependence on the peripheral. For more information about this common condition, visit the Macular Degeneration Partnership.

If you check out the 90 articles in the link above, some of the sources say that by upping vitamin D intake from the RDA of 600 IU to 750 IU, younger women (from ages 40 to 75) can cut their risk of developing age-related macular degeneration in half.

Although the study was performed at the University at Buffalo by researcher Amy Millen on 1,313 female subjects, I would imagine that a couple of cups of fresh spinach can't hurt our male friends, and may actually help. After all, Popeye ate it, and he was what he was.

The vitamin D in question for this purpose is obtained from the diet, not from the big yellow thing in the blue room, so we geeks need not fear (one thing at a time, my techie friends, one thing at a time).

On a random website, I found a list of the top ten natural sources of vitamin D. Don't take my word for it. Don't even take the word of some random website for it. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about it.

It's a good idea to do this because simply deciding to live on salmon from here on in could increase mercury levels in the body. Deciding to start chugging milk right from the carton might aggravate lactose intolerance. Oatmeal may sound like a great idea, but might seriously harsh the buzz of the carb-conscious.

Make sure you carefully wash all your greens (even those convenient bagged ones that say they've already been triple-washed) to avoid that nasty e-coli we've all heard about in the news.

Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, taking supplements by the fistful is a very bad idea. Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) are not excreted in the urine but stored in the body, so toxicity is of concern. Just because the right amount is good, doesn't mean huge amounts are better.

As always, reading studies and taking supplements is no substitute for actual medical advice. If a supplement is in order for you, let it be decided upon in conjunction with a wise learned medical practitioner who knows you well, and takes care of your health personally.

And remember to get your eyes examined on a regular schedule. Prevent Blindness America suggests "that everyone receive a comprehensive eye exam through dilated pupils regularly as recommended by your eye doctor."

This is important because many serious eye problems arise without noticeable symptoms, and early detection through testing gives the greatest chance for successful treatment.

I've got to run now...I have to go make an eye appointment. It's been over a year, and it's time.

TalkBack below about your great big beautiful eyes.

Topic: Processors


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • More good info on Vitamin D

    Funny that we're just latching onto this. Vitamin D deficiency is a trigger for a lot more than just AMD (aka cancer).

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    • The Miracle Foods We Need

      I remember that my mom always telling me to eat green leafy vegetables every time I eat. My mom always has green leafy vegetables on the table from breakfast to dinner. When you search in the internet, you will find a lot of news covering on how good they are for our health. I think they are one of the most inexpensive sources with a lot of important nutrients that we can use. They can have an antioxidant, anticancer properties, and anti inflammatory activity. Like fresh cold water fish and oatmeal, leafy greens are also considered the best sources of <a style="color: #252525;font-weight:normal; text-decoration:none!important; background:none!important; text-decoration:none;" href="">anti inflammatory foods</a>. They do a lot of miracle jobs on many health concerns from reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, helping people with type 2 diabetes and a lot more. As the green leafy vegetables contain vitamin D, I'm just wondering if they can lower the risk factor of someone using glasses. If they can, my kid should eat them a lot.
  • RE: Another reason to eat those leafy greens

    Good article. I see more articles touting vitamin D as what seems like the new miracle vitamin. Improves vision, decreases the risk of cancer or diabetes. I'll have to take it in pill form since I'm not keen on seafood. Speaking of eye doctor appointments, its been over 2 years for me.
    Loverock Davidson
  • RE: Another reason to eat those leafy greens

    Know what else kills your vision? 4 years of looking at projectors in college with teachers that don't realize it's hard to see that tiny print from the front row, let alone the back. I'm graduating this May, and what used to be perfect eyesight 4 years ago is now reduced to squinting at anything not directly in front of me.
  • RE: Another reason to eat those leafy greens

    Great timing, just made eye appt for today!
  • Mick Mills

    You don't get vitamin D from leafy greens.
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