Eating Fruit Lowers Risk of Macular Degeneration

Eye diseases such as macular degeneration can be avoided in some cases by lowering the risk associated with the disease.  Eating fruit can lower the risk associated with macular degeneration.

A recent study published in The Archives of Ophthalmology has indicated that people who eat three or more servings of fruit a day have the risks associated with developing macular degeneration reduced by 36 percent.  The research conducted by the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston examined data from over 77,000 women and nearly 41,000 men, followed over a period of 12 to 18 years.

Age related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, has two distinct forms: wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration.  Wet macular degeneration can be treated with drugs such as Lucentis, Macugen and Avastin.  Dry macular degeneration has no treatment.  Because of this, research in this area has been focused on identifying factors that can reduce the risk of developing the eye disease, especially dry macular degeneration.

This new study shows that the antioxidants in fruit and vegetables can provide protection from the damage that free radicals cause, damage that has been shown to lead to the development of macular degeneration.  Antioxidant nutrients such as caraotenoids, vitamin C and zinc can reduce the risk of the eye disease progressing and slow vision loss.  These supplements have been used as part of the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and have been shown to slow the progression of dry macular degeneration.

Dr. Eunyoung Cho, lead author of the study indicated that “only 25 percent of Americans are consuming the recommended five-plus services of fruits and vegetables per day.”  The study recommends a healthy weight, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and to stop smoking.  It still reminds that the most important aspect of vision care is regular eye examinations by an eye care professional.

Eating fruit to lower the risk of macular degeneration is a health choice for preventing the eye disease.