Turmeric Help for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Figure VIII.2 The Eye

Figure VIII.2: The Eye

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in industrialized countries, and unfortunately is thought to be irreversible and difficult to treat. The good news is that experts suggest lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, physical exercise, and a healthy diet, can help dramatically reduce the risk of developing AMD. Research studies also indicate that antioxidants such as those found in turmeric may help. (viii.59103167)

What is AMD?

AMD is the progressive deterioration of the macula, the part of the eye needed for fine detail and central vision. These are both important for everyday tasks such as reading and driving. The macula is the central, back part of the retina, which detects and converts what we see into electrical signals that get sent to the brain. (viii.168)

Types of AMD and Current Treatment Strategies

Blindness occurs in 10-15% of people with AMD, but most of these cases occur in people with wet AMD. There are 2 types of late stage AMD: (viii.167169)

Table VIII.8: AMD Types
  • Neovascular AMD.
  • Characterized by abnormal, leaky blood vessel growth under the retina that may cause rapid and severe macular damage.
  • Though much less common than dry AMD, wet AMD is responsible for most cases of vision loss.
  • Geographic atrophy causes the gradual breakdown of macula cells.
  • Sometimes dry AMD can progress to wet AMD.

Treatments used for wet AMD include: (viii.103169)

  • Drugs to block over-production of growth factors which promote abnormal over-growth of new blood vessels, with or without laser treatment of retina.
  • Laser surgery to destroy abnormal blood vessels.

Unfortunately, these conventional therapies may also cause serious adverse side effects in the eye: (viii.103169)

Current treatment for dry AMD is primarily limited to dietary changes, vitamin supplements, and supportive care. (viii.167)

How Can Turmeric Help?

Turmeric contains over 300 vitamins, plant nutrients, and minerals — many of them with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The results of clinical trials and population studies show that dietary antioxidants and minerals can help prevent and treat AMD — including some of the vitamins found in turmeric. (viii.22394650170-173)

Studies suggest that many of the compounds in turmeric have the same properties as conventional AMD therapies. For example, a primary treatment for wet-type AMD is anti-VEGF drugs to inhibit excess blood vessel growth. Turmeric compounds exhibit the same effect, and may even be safer. Turmeric compounds also mimic the anti-aging effects of calorie restriction, which may help prevent or slow the progression of AMD. (viii.61103)

Although some authors noted studies indicating that high doses of curcumin can cause DNA damage, all but one was a lab study. The animal study used a type of inbred mutant rat used to model Wilson's disease, a rare genetic disorder where copper accumulates in the liver. In many other clinical studies, including involving cancer patients given very high doses of curcumin, serious adverse side effects were not reported. They don't carry the risk of serious side effects to the eye as anti-VEGF drugs. (viii.68174-175)

Other potential benefits include:

Table VIII.9: Effects of Turmeric Compounds on Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Alpha-linolenic acid (viii.46)
  • PPAR-γ, a protein important to metabolism and artery health, that can also help block the formation of abnormal blood vessels. (viii.20103)
  • Formation of abnormal blood vessels in the eye. (viii.103)
  • A prospective study of almost 40,000 women suggested that regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids could significantly reduce the risk of developing AMD. (viii.176)
Ar-turmerone (viii.22)
Caffeic acid (viii.22)
  • VEGF, a growth factor that can stimulate abnormal blood vessel growth (angiogenesis). (viii.87)
Curcumin (viii.46)
Fisetin (viii.40)
  • Natural antioxidants in retina. (viii.173)
  • Free radicals in retina cells by 70%. (viii.173)
  • Retina cell death from free radicals (100% protection in lab studies). (viii.173)
Folate (viii.42)
Linoleic acid (viii.171)
Quercetin (viii.40)
Resveratrol (viii.50)
Turmeric Leaf
  • Antifungal effects, which could help counteract the risk of infectious endophthalmitis associated with conventional treatment for wet AMD. (viii.54)
Turmeric extract
Vitamin C (viii.46)
  • Retina cell death from certain types of free radicals(viii.173)
  • Could protect eyes from ionizing radiation (such as environmental or from frequent flying). (viii.176)
  • Reduce the risk of progression, in combination with other antioxidants (i.e., lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and copper). (viii.172)
Vitamin E (viii.46)
A painful inflammatory condition caused by injury to the eye or by infection; can cause permanent blindness. (viii.169)

Join the 1000s of People Who Are Discovering the Benefits of Turmeric.

New Vegan, Cruelty Free, Non GMO, Stearate Free, Gluten Free Turmeric Health Supplement Made in the USA in a GMP-certified, FDA-approved facility.

Healthceuticals® Turmeric Curcumin Complex

100% Certified
Organic ingredients

  • Organic Turmeric Extract - standardized to 95% curcuminoids.
  • Organic Whole Turmeric - provides full spectrum antioxidant, anti-inflammatory turmeric benefits, including turmerones and numerous vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients
  • Organic Black Pepper Extract - standardized to 95% piperine; dramatically enhances bioavailablity.
  • Organic Phospholipids - markedly improve absorption.
  • Organic Ginger - works synergistically with turmeric to provide more powerful benefits.
  • Absolutely FREE of potentially harmful additives and fillers such as magnesium stearate.
Vegan | Cruelty Free | Non GMO | Stearate Free | Gluten Free Made in the USA in a GMP-certified, FDA-approved facility
Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information at this website is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.