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Age-related Macular Degeneration Nutrition Sensory

Sunlight and lack of antioxidants ups risk of age-related eye disease

10 years, 5 months ago

1223  0
Posted on Oct 16, 2008, 7 a.m. By Rich Hurd

A combination of exposure to blue light from sunlight and inadequate levels of antioxidants in the blood contribute to the development of some forms of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), say researchers.

A combination of exposure to blue light from sunlight and inadequate levels of antioxidants in the blood contribute to the development of some forms of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), say researchers.

Astrid E. Fletcher, PhD, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues measured levels of vitamin C and E, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and zinc, in the blood of 4,753 seniors with an average age of 73.2 years. The participants were also questioned about sun exposure, and had photographs taken of their retinas.

Results showed that of the 4,400 participants with complete data, 2% had neovascular AMD – an advanced form of the disease, and 50% had early-stage AMD. Overall, there was no link between blue light exposure and neovascular AMD or early-stage AMD. However, participants with a history of blue light exposure and low blood levels of zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and vitamin C were found to be 3.7-times more likely to develop neovascular AMD.

The researchers conclude: “Our results suggest that people in the general population should use ocular protection and follow dietary recommendations for the key antioxidant nutrients.”

Fletcher AE, Bentham GC, Agnew M.Sunlight Exposure, Antioxidants, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126:1396-1403.

 

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