Retinitis Pigmentosa (pigmentosis) is a progressive degenerative disorder of the retina that can cause a profound loss of vision. Various hereditary patterns have been reported. This disease affects 1 out of 3700 people.
A study published in the Archives of Ophthalmologyshowed that taking 15,000 IU of Vitamin A per day can slow the progression of retinitis pigmentosa. On the other hand, this same study showed that taking Vitamin E supplements actually accelerated vision decline.
The conventional medical opinion posits that there is no treatment or cure for retinitis pigmentosa, but we believe that a progressive approach to maintaining a healthful diet and lifestyle can slow down RP, and, in some cases, even help to preserve vision. In addition to Vitamin A, supplementing the diet with lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, other antioxidants and COQ10 have all been shown to benefit RP sufferers.
A 2006 study found that high doses of antioxidants (vitamins E, C, alpha lipoic acid others) significantly reduced oxidative damage in cones, increased cone cell density and preserved cone function. These results, according to the Johns Hopkins authors, suggest that the gradual cone death that occurs after rod cells die is due to oxidative damage, and that antioxidants could provide benefit those suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa.