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Diet May Lower Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is the number one cause of legal blindness in people over 50 in the United States. A recent study suggests that diet may affect eye health as you age and that following the Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


Researchers from The University of Auckland in New Zealand examined data from 18 studies to evaluate the role of food intake and diet on AMD. They found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a decreased risk of AMD progression. An Oriental diet was associated with lower prevalence of age-related macular degeneration.  Adherence to a Western diet was associated with increased prevalence of age-related macular degeneration.


The researchers also found that high glycemic index diets and alcohol consumption of greater than two drinks per day had increased association with AMD.


The study was published on June 21, 2018, in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.


The Mediterranean diet is characterized by high amounts of vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, fruits and nuts, healthy mono-saturated fats such as olive oil, low amounts of saturated fats, moderate alcohol intake, and low intake of meat and dairy products.


An Oriental diet has higher intake of vegetables, legumes, fruit, whole grains, tomatoes, and seafood. A Western diet has higher intake of red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, fried potatoes, refined grains and eggs.

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