ISLAMABAD (APP) - A new study of people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), based at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has found that a correct usage of vitamin supplements may help prevent loss of vision in those suffering from AMD. However, they discovered that a majority of patients lack a clear understanding of supplement use in AMD treatment, Health News reported. The researchers found that almost 40 per cent of those who appeared to benefit from specific vitamin/mineral supplements were either not taking the supplements or not using the recommended dosage. Also, it indicated that some patients used high-dose supplements even though there was no evidence that these would be effective for their levels of AMD or other eye conditions. They said that the public health impact due to this lack of knowledge could be substantial, and if proper supplements are incorporated, one can ward off advanced AMD which can destroy the central vision needed to recognise faces, read, drive and enjoy daily life. A clinical trail in 2001 by the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) identified a specific formula of antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E and beta- carotene) and zinc that reduced the likeliness of progression to advanced AMD by 25 per cent, either the "wet" or central geographic atrophy forms, among individuals at risk. Those having AMD and also smoke are required to use a formula that omits beta-carotene since high doses of this micronutrient have been linked with increased rates of lung cancer and mortality. While effective treatment for advanced AMD is available, it can be expensive and is limited to the "wet" form. Besides, since such treatment may not restore vision already lost to the illness, it is still vital to use all effective approaches to preventing AMD progression. For the study, the researchers surveyed 332 individuals who identified themselves as having AMD, with the median participant age of 79 years. Out of these, 228 were considered candidates for benefit from the AREDS formula. However, only 140 patients (61 per cent) in this group were using the correct formula as recommended. They found that almost 50 per cent of the candidates-for-benefit did not correctly answer questions on the relevance of vitamin/mineral supplements to their eye condition and how their vision might benefit. Meanwhile, most patients with vitamin D deficiency were found to have a history of fragile bones that exposed them to the risk of osteoporosis, according to a study. The bone disease not only affected adults, but also children. Vitamin D insufficiency may also aggravate underlying metabolic bone disease. Vitamin D is essential in bone growth and mineralisation in children and adults. A mild deficiency causes rickets in children and can be overcome with increased amount of nutritional vitamin D intake as well as sun exposure. The new study, conducted by US physicians, is the first to investigate vitamin D insufficiency in paediatric patients with low bone density. Sasigarn Bowden, the study's co-author, explained: "We need to check vitamin D levels in all patients with history of multiple fractures or low bone density and treat the vitamin D problem if the levels are low. "The supplementation of vitamin D should be a priority in the management of paediatric patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia in order to optimise their bone health and potentially prevent fractures." Potential factors that may account for vitamin D insufficiency in various chronic medical conditions include low vitamin D intake and decreased sun exposure. Four studies in Europe found that 80 percent of healthy children and adolescents had insufficient vitamin D levels in the winter. The study has been published in the latest issue of the journal Paediatrics.