As part of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), healthier diets and meat consumption were tested to learn their effects on the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). While a healthier diet resulted in slowing down the progression of AMD, a particularly interesting result was found in meat consumption. Those who ate large quantities of red meat showed a greater occurrence of AMD and those who consumed larger amounts of chicken were more inclined to develop late AMD. The most impressive statistics were for women who followed a suggested diet designed for better health: 46 percent of women who followed the diet closely were less likely to develop AMD.
While more studies are required to further prove the efficacy of diet and eye health, studies are showing conclusive evidence that specific nutrients are contributing directly to better retina health.
Antioxidants and Zinc
Antioxidants help clear our cells of free radicals that can damage our health and speed up the aging process. Zinc is instrumental in helping your immune system fight off bacteria and viruses, as well as helping in the production of proteins and DNA.
In all studies, increasing the amount of antioxidants and zinc contributed to slower or halted progression of AMD and in up to 25 percent of cases prevented the development of advanced AMD.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Contributing to a healthy cardiovascular system, Omega-3 fatty acids are another component of an eye-healthy diet. Consuming a diet low in fat and cholesterol will help reduce plaque buildup which is beneficial to your eyes’ delicate vascular system.
As more research is completed, the positive results of diet and eye health are likely to become more specific regarding quantities and types of foods or supplements. Optos would like to remind you to consume a healthy diet, maintain physical fitness and include a comprehensive eye exam using optomap® to protect your vision.