Friday, May 8, 2009

Diet can affect risk of Macular Degeneration

In the New York Times (5/7) Well blog, Tara Parker-Pope observed that, according to a study published in the May issue of Ophthalmology, "eating a diet rich in leafy vegetables, nuts, and fish and low in starchy carbohydrates appears to lower risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 50." For the study, researchers from the Tufts University Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging collected data "from 4,003 participants in the ongoing Age-Related Eye Disease Study." The investigators found that "the dietary nutrients linked with lower risk for macular degeneration are vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and the omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA and EPA. Notably, the nutrient often associated with eye health, beta carotene, was not linked with lower risk for macular degeneration," and "the greatest benefit was seen among participants who regularly consumed a combination of the protective nutrients as part of a low-glycemic index diet."(courtesy AOA)

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