Retrospective study suggests melatonin may decrease risk development of macular degeneration

Retrospective study suggests melatonin may decrease risk development of macular degeneration

Melatonin has antioxidant properties and researchers sought to discover if it might provide benefits for eye health.

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Results from a retrospective cohort study reveal a possible benefit of melatonin supplements in lowering the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) developing.

Melatonin has become increasingly popular as a sleep aid but a recent review of a national database found a possible link between melatonin use and a reduced risk of developing AMD. Melatonin has antioxidant properties and researchers sought to discover if it might provide benefits for eye health.

Researchers reviewed records of almost 10,000 patients. The study included patients without AMD and those with AMD and patients were asked about their melatonin use from November 2008 to November 2023. Melatonin use for patients aged 50 years and older was associated with a reduced risk of developing AMD. For those patients with non-exudative AMD, melatonin use resulted in a reduced risk of the AMD progressing to the exudative form.

While researchers found the study results to be significant, they stressed that the study was based on medical records so a causal relationship between melatonin use and the development or progression of AMD could not be established. Randomized, controlled studies would need to be conducted to further determine the benefit of melatonin for eye health.

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