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Healthy diet may help prevent vision loss

May 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Scientists are focusing on specific diets to help prevent vision loss in older adults.A new study, from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, found that older adults who eat a diet rich in citrus fruits, leafy greens, and fish oil, but low in "glycemic index," may have a lower risk of AMD, a leading cause of vision loss.

AMD, or age-related macular degeneration, refers to gradual damage to macula, a structure in the retina that allows seeing fine detail. The condition affects more than 1 million U.S. adults over the age of 65.

Researchers looked at the overall diet patterns of 4,000 older adults, and found that those who tended to eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, foods high in vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc, and food rich in nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in leafy greens, had a relatively lower risk of AMD.

The study also found that those who ate food with a low glycemic index, or those that create a gradual increase in blood sugar like soybeans and yogurt, also appeared more protected from AMD.

Researchers say foods like citrus fruits, leafy greens, and salmon are also beneficial for overall health.

The study is published in the journal Ophthalmology.

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