NUTRITION AND YOUR HEALTH
A Vitamin-Rich Diet protects your vision
Macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, can be kept at bay by adopting a vitamin-rich diet rather than relying on nutritional supplements, according to new research on vision issues among seniors.
The researchers found that the antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc lower the risk and actually ward off macular degeneration, in which abnormal blood cells grow in the eye and leak blood and fluid that damage the center of the retina and blur central vision.
"This study suggests that the risk of age-related macular degeneration can be modified by diet; in particular, by dietary vitamin E and zinc," lead author Dr. Redmer van Leeuwen of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"Foods high in these nutrients appear to be more important than nutritional supplements."
While there is no cure for macular degeneration, an earlier study found high doses of vitamin supplements could slow the vision loss. The new study instead focuses on the nutritional benefits in natural food diets.
Macular degeneration sufferers are often debilitated and unable to read, recognize faces or drive, and the condition worsens with age. It affects more than one out of 10 white adults over the age of 80, and is the leading cause of severe vision loss in Americans 60 and older.
The research conclusion followed an eight-year study of more than 4,000 older residents of Rotterdam. It found those whose diets included more than the median levels of vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc had a 35% lower risk of developing the vision-robbing disease, compared with those whose diets provided a below-median level of any of the four nutrients.
Meanwhile, participants with a below-median consumption of all four of the nutrients had a 20% higher risk of macular degeneration.
Foods rich in vitamin E include whole grains, vegetable oil, eggs and nuts, the report said. High concentrations of zinc can be found in meat, poultry, fish, whole grains and dairy products. Carrots, kale and spinach are the main suppliers of beta carotene, while vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, broccoli and potatoes.
M MORE INFO FOR YOUR VISION HEALTH
Heavy computer use
could be linked to
Glaucoma is caused by increased fluid pressure within the eye compressing the
nerves at the back, which can lead to blindness if not treated. Glaucoma is the
most important cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, affecting more than
500,000 people in the UK alone.
Dr Masayuki Tatemichi, from Toho University School of Medicine, and his
colleagues tested the sight of workers in four different Japanese companies,
employing over 5,000 people each. The employees were asked to complete
questionnaires about their computer use, both at home and at work, and any
history of eye disease. The researchers then divided the employees according to
how much they used a computer, labeling them...Continued
Summer Sun is a Vision Thread
By the American Academy of Ophthalmology
To spread the word that summer months pose particular risks to your vision, the
American Academy of Ophthalmology urge you to take precautions to make sure
your eyes are safe as you set about your summer activities.
The most insidious eye injuries can come from the summer's main attraction --
the sun. More
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