Thursday, August 30, 2007
Science Daily and Zinc
On August 28th, Science Daily featured a zinc study published in the April 2007 Experimental Eye Research Journal. A team of scientists, including three researchers at George Mason University, found that the mineral zinc could play a role in the development of macular degeneration.
These findings are and were viewed as extremely important because the 2001 Age-Related-Eye-Disease (ARED) study results suggested that high doses (80 mg) of supplemental zinc oxide, when combined with vitamin antioxidants and copper, slowed the progression of macular degeneration.
Many nutrition-trained eye care professionals and most biochemists have adamantly disagreed with the long-term daily consumption of 80 mgs of zinc oxide, which is included in the ARED formulation.
Imre Lengyel, PhD, senior fellow at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London and this zinc study chief investigator, found unexpectedly high concentrations of zinc in drusen and sub-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) post-mortem maculae of eyes with AMD. He has been quoted as saying, "Although supplemental zinc has been found to enhance the immune system, excessive amounts may play a role in the advancement of macular degeneration."
We reported on this study in the March 23, 2007 Friday Pearl.
The Academy of Medicine's published safe upper limit (UL) of supplemental zinc is 40 mg per day.