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Age-related Macular Degeneration Diet Fatty Acids, Lipids & Oils Minerals

Healthy Diet May Lower Risks of Vision Loss

12 years, 10 months ago

10896  0
Posted on Jul 07, 2011, 6 a.m.

Consuming a diet rich in zinc and omega-3 fatty acids may help to prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) accounts for half of all cases of blindness in developed countries, occurring in more than six out of every 100 Americans ages 40-plus. At least two gene variations are known to raise a person's risk for AMD:  one of the variations (called CFH) increases a person's odds of macular degeneration up to 11-fold and another (called LOC387715S) raises them by up to 15-fold. Lintje Ho, from Erasmus Medical Center (The Netherlands), and colleagues surveyed the eating habits of more than 2,000 subjects, ages 55 and older.   All were tested for genetic susceptibility to macular degeneration , and all  the participants had eye exams every three years for the next decade to determine who suffered vision loss. Among people with the CFH variation, greater amounts of either zinc, beta carotene, omega-3 fatty acids or lutein/zeaxanthin in the diet was linked to a smaller risk of macular degeneration, with 39 out of every 100 people who ate the lowest amounts of omega-3 fats (about 22 milligrams per day) developing vision loss, as compared to 28 out of every 100 people who ate the largest amounts of omega-3s (268 mg per day) developing the condition.  For those who had the LOC387715S variation, reduced risk of vision loss was seen among people who ate greater amounts of zinc or omega-3 fats:  25% of people who ate 11.85 mg per day of zinc developed macular degeneration, compared to 33% of people who ate just 7.5 mg per day. Reporting that: “High dietary intake of nutrients with antioxidant properties reduces the risk of early [age-related macular degeneration] in those at high genetic risk,” the researchers conclude that: Clinicians should provide dietary advice to young susceptible individuals to postpone or prevent the vision-disabling consequences of [age-related macular degeneration].”

Lintje Ho; Redmer van Leeuwen; Jacqueline C. M. Witteman; Cornelia M. van Duijn; André G. Uitterlinden; Albert Hofman; Paulus T. V. M. de Jong; Johannes R. Vingerling; Caroline C. W. Klaver.  “Reducing the Genetic Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration With Dietary Antioxidants, Zinc, and {omega}-3 Fatty Acids: The Rotterdam Study.”  Arch Ophthalmol, Jun 2011; 129: 758 - 766.

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