Although you are already taking a specially prepared eye supplement, most of the brands we've investigated (including the brand you use) don't include enough of the individual nutrients or herbs to really make much of a difference to patients who have already developed a disease. This tends to be a problem with many of the combination supplements. Vitamin companies throw in a little of this and a little of that, but not enough of anything to make much of a difference to your health. In cases like yours, you really need very high doses of a number of nutrients.
For instance, the daily dose of your supplement contains 50 milligrams of zinc, 50 micrograms of selenium, 200 international units of vitamin E and 300 milligrams of vitamin C.
But in possibly the best study to date of AMD patients, they improved on daily doses that were two or three times higher: intravenous daily injections of selenium (400 micrograms) and zinc (10 milligrams) plus oral selenium (200-300 micrograms) and oral zinc picolinate or citrate (60 milli grams), 800 international units of vitamin E and 1 gram of taurine. After eight weeks, patients stopped the injections and relied only on oral supplements of selenium 800 micrograms and zinc 20 milligrams weekly, which was slowly tapered off if possible. All but one of the patients improved (J Nutr Med, 1990; 1: 133-8).
If you are taking high dose supplements of vitamin C, it's particularly important to avoid bright sunlight. One study showed that humans exposed to excessive high energy light combined with high doses of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) developed AMD (J Am Coll Nutr, 1991; 10: 550). You also need to take a copper supplement since copper may also be depleted by vitamin C.
If you are taking supplements of vitamin E, it's vital that you also supplement with vitamin A. Research has demonstrated that low levels of vitamin E inferfere with the body's uptake of vitamin A (Mech Ageing Dev, 1986; 35: 291-305); in an animal study of rats made deficient in vitamin E, levels of vitamin A in their diet determined the extent of the damage to the retina (Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 1979; 18: 683-90).
Besides nutritional supplements, certain herbs, as you' know, can help AMD, but not at the low doses you're taking. To be effective, at least 160-480 milligrams of bilberry needs to be taken with an anthocyanidin content of 25 per cent (J Klin Monatsbl Augenheikd, 1981; 178: 386-9).
Ginkgo biloba can also help AMD, but you must take at least 40 milligrams three times a day to improve, and the herb must contain 24 per cent ginkgoflavonglycosides, the active ingredient.
Nutritional healing is a complicated undertaking requiring a great deal of knowledge. We recommend that, if possible, you see a qualified nutritionist or nutritional doctor with experience in successfully treating AMD who can tailor your supplement programme specifically to your needs.