Nutrients May Help Save Eyes
Eating Foods Rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin May Help Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration
WebMD News Archive
Sept. 11, 2007 -- New research shows that eating yellow and green vegetables
may help people aged 60 and older avoid age-related macular degeneration, a
leading cause of blindness.
That news comes from a study of some 4,500 people aged 60-80 who were
age-related macular degeneration, which hampers central vision.
In surveys, participants reported how often they had eaten 90 different
foods during the past year. Those foods included yellow and green veggies rich
in the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.
Those with the highest self-reported intake of foods rich in lutein and
zeaxanthin were 35% less likely than those with the lowest lutein and
zeaxanthin intake to have "wet" age-related macular degeneration.
"Wet" age-related macular degeneration involves the growth of
abnormal blood vessels beneath the macula. Those blood vessels leak blood and
fluid, disrupting vision.
No other nutrients stood out in the study, which appears in today's edition
of the Archives of Ophthalmology.
The study doesn't prove that lutein and zeaxanthin prevent age-related
macular degeneration. But the researchers -- who included John Paul
SanGiovanni, ScD, of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group -- argue
that that possibility deserves further study.
Meanwhile, here are some foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin: spinach, kale,
turnip greens, collards, mustard greens, squash, green peas, broccoli, pumpkin,