Calcium May Help Decrease Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people aged 65 and older. A new study investigated the link between AMD and calcium and found that eating a calcium-rich diet or taking calcium supplements does not appear to increase the risk of AMD.
For their study, the researchers looked at data from 4,751 people who participated in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Self-reported calcium intake was collected via a questionnaire that asked about the frequency with which people ate calcium-rich foods and the use of calcium supplements. Participants were categorized at baseline as having no AMD, intermediate AMD, or late-stage AMD in one eye. The participants were followed for an average of 10 years.
The researchers found that participants in the highest quintile of dietary calcium intake had a lower risk of developing late AMD compared to those in the lowest quintile. Participants in the highest tertile of supplementary calcium intake had a lower risk of developing neovascular AMD compared with those who did not take calcium supplements.
The study was conducted by scientists with the National Eye Institute. It was published online ahead of print on March 21, 2019 in the journalJAMA Ophthalmology.