The solution for age-related eye disease really is this simple 9



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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of vision loss for older Australians and can lead to declines in sharp central vision or even partial blindness, but it doesn’t take much effort to greatly reduce your risk, according to this new study.

In fact, it turns out that that old wives’ tale about eating more carrots is the answer!

The Harvard University-led study tracked more than 100,000 people over the age of 50 over a period of 25 years.

It found that people who consumed the highest levels of food pigment carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing the advanced form of macular degeneration than those who ate the least.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in the macula of the eye, where they are known as the macular pigment.

In fruits and veg, these carotenoids give colour to the more vibrant fruits and veggies. Rich sources are carrots, of course, plus red and yellow capsicums, sweet potatoes, oranges, beetroot, blueberries, spinach, kale and other dark-green vegetables.

The research team found that people who consumed the very highest levels of carotenoids known as lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40 percent lower risk of the advanced form of AMD compared to those who ate the very least.

“Other carotenoids, including beta cryptoxanthin, alpha carotene and beta carotene, may also play protective roles,” said the lead author.

People who consumed the very highest amount of these carotenoids had a 25 to 35 percent lower risk of the advanced form of the illness, the findings showed.

Researchers did not find any link between the carotenoids and the intermediate form of macular degeneration, however.

‘This study suggests that carotenoids may slow worsening of AMD once it occurs,’ the researchers concluded in the journal JAMA Opthalmology.

Current recommendations are that all Australian adults eat two serves of fruit per day and at least five serves of vegetables.

Are you getting enough fruit and veg? Did you know that your vision could depend on it? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I love carrots and all veg’ and eat them most days and always have. I have a macular hole in right eye and luckily had an op’ on left eye to save my central vision. This article is a load of’s as if any medical problem we get is out own fault.

  2. Maybe I should have been born a rabbit (and eaten all those carrots) then I may have missed out on AMD! Ruth Cameron

  3. We we are living in the stage the doctors call “planned obsolescence” We don’t like it but we have to live with it.

  4. I was advised to take Macuvision tabs daily as my grandmother and mother both had AMD. Have taken them for over 10 years and eyesight is fine and my eyes are healthy with no sign of AMD.

    1 REPLY
    • Jenny it sometimes skips a generation so may be the result would have been the same without taking the tablets. Still, I suppose you can’t take the risk. Glad to hear your eyesight is okay, with no signs of AMD.

  5. Can someone explain the signs and symptoms of this condition please. I recently had a couple of episodes in a darkened room at night that may indicate MD. I have been to the optician and had a ultra sound and scan. I have been referred on to someone else for further tests. It is concerning me and I would be great full for any personal information. Thank you in advance.

  6. My 96 year old grandmother never used glasses. Her secret? She drank straight from the bottle!!!

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