Although macular degeneration prevention is possible, you can't rely on any one foolproof method. However, a variety of options are available to help reduce your risk. Nutrition plays a vital role in this process.
AMD is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss among elderly people, who slowly lose their central vision. In time, a person with macular degeneration may find it difficult or impossible to read, drive or recognize familiar faces.
Popeye Ate Spinach For A Reason:
Eating plenty of dark, leafy greens may help with macular degeneration prevention.
A study published in 1994 in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary reported that people who consumed the most vegetables rich in carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) had a 43 percent lower risk of AMD than those who ate these foods the least.
Carotenoid-rich vegetables include dark, leafy greens, especially raw spinach, kale and collard greens.
"In particular, a higher frequency of intake of spinach or collard greens was associated with a substantially lower risk for AMD," researchers said.
The authors concluded that "consumption of foods rich in certain carotenoids, in particular dark green, leafy vegetables, may decrease the risk of developing advanced or exudative ('wet') AMD, the most visually disabling form of macular degeneration among older people."
Under The Sea:
Research also has shown the benefits of eating fish for macular degeneration prevention:
A study at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary showed that senior men with the highest levels of fish consumption (more than two servings weekly) were 45 percent less likely to have AMD than those who ate the least amount of fish (less than one serving per week).
Brian Chua and researchers at the University of Sydney demonstrated similar findings. They evaluated 2,900 people aged 49 or older. Participants who ate fish at least once a week were 40 percent less likely to have beginning-stage AMD develop than those who reported eating fish less than once a month or not at all. Those who ate fish at least three times weekly were less likely to have late-stage AMD.
Food Of The Earth:
Eating fruits and nuts can help reduce your risk of macular degeneration:
A 2004 study at Harvard Medical School showed that participants who ate three or more servings of fruit daily had a substantially lower risk of "wet" or advanced AMD.
Another study from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary demonstrated that eating nuts helped deter progression of early or intermediate AMD to more advanced stages.
Refined Carbs – Limited Edition:
Diets high in refined carbohydrates increase the risk of AMD, which was confirmed in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Highly refined foods have a high glycemic index, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar and insulin release.
Examples of refined carbohydrates include white bread, white rolls, baked white potatoes, donuts, pretzels and watermelon. Low glycemic index foods include most fruits, spaghetti (especially whole wheat), brown rice, multi-grain and whole grain breads, apple juice and carrot juice.
About ECR Vault
ECR Vault’s AMD iManager is the eye care industry’s first and only disease specific patient management workflow software. The program is entirely dedicated to preventative care for patients with macular degeneration, for sole purpose of preventing blindness. AMD iManager incorporates science and technology to improve patient care and practice profitability through early identification, protocol monitoring, and nutritional intervention in the treatment of macular degeneration.