US Med Voice

US Med


Vol. 4, No. 4 | April 2012




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Diet, Lifestyle Can Help Vision
Eat Your Veggies


US MED Gives BackThe National Eye Institute acknowledges that the greatest risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is age. But they also say diet and lifestyle play important roles in preventing or slowing the progression of this sight-robbing condition.


A Peking University study on effects of dietary intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin shows a 26 percent reduction of later-stage AMD and a 4 percent reduction of early-stage AMD.


Contributing food sources identified in the study included spinach and other dark leafy greens, broccoli, zucchini, Romaine lettuce, corn and peas, along with egg yolks. The study included only foods, but supplements are also recommended.


As early as 1994, Harvard researchers concluded that consuming food with these carotenoids lowered the risk of AMD. The studies were reported by Tufts University


Lutein and zeaxanthin provide the yellow pigmentation in the center of the retina of the eyes. With aging, levels of these pigments decrease. The yellow color blocks harmful blue light from the retina, which can damage vision cells.


Other preventive steps suggested by the institute include maintaining normal blood pressure, watching your weight, and not smoking.


One study reported in the British Journal of Nutrition online shows that eating foods containing lutein may protect the eyes from problems caused by long-term computer use.


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