Why green leafy vegetables may prevent vision loss in older people

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A recent study found that eating foods high in nitrate can lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common cause of blindness in older adults.

The study was conducted by researchers at the National Eye Institute, and the findings were published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

AMD is a disease that affects the central part of the retina, called the macula, which is responsible for sharp, central vision.

As people age, the macula can deteriorate, leading to vision loss and blindness.

The study found that people who ate a diet high in nitrate, such as a Mediterranean diet, had a lower risk of developing AMD.

The team analyzed data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2 randomized clinical trial cohorts, which included over 7,000 participants.

The researchers found that increased nitrate intake was linked to a reduced risk of late-stage AMD and geographic atrophy, a form of AMD that involves the death of cells in the macula.

Nitrates are naturally occurring compounds found in certain foods, such as leafy greens, beets, and carrots.

The body converts nitrates into nitric oxide, which has been shown to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation, both of which may play a role in the development of AMD.

The study also found an association between the Mediterranean diet and dietary nitrate intake.

The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, and has been linked to a range of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

While the study found a link between nitrate intake and a lower risk of AMD, it’s important to note that correlation does not equal causation.

The study’s authors also note that the effects associated with nitrate intake can be attributed to plant-based dietary patterns in general, not just nitrates.

Overall, the study provides further evidence that a healthy diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can have a range of health benefits, including protecting against vision loss.

AMD is a progressive eye disease that affects the macula, a small but crucial part of the retina that allows us to see fine details in our central vision.

As the name suggests, AMD is most commonly seen in older adults and is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness among people over the age of 50.

There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD is the more common form and typically develops slowly over time, causing the macula to thin and deteriorate.

Wet AMD, on the other hand, is a more severe and rapid form of disease in which abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and leak fluid, causing rapid damage to the macula.

Symptoms of AMD include blurry or distorted central vision, difficulty seeing in low light, decreased brightness in colors, and difficulty recognizing faces.

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for AMD, and treatment options are limited to slowing down the progression of the disease and managing symptoms.

Risk factors for AMD include age, genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, and a diet lacking in certain nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, and zinc.

Regular eye exams and a healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced diet and not smoking, can help reduce the risk of developing AMD and other eye diseases.

If you care about eye health, please read studies that high blood pressure can predict blinding eye disease, and 7 habits that help prevent vision loss in older people.

For more information about eye health, please see recent studies about how to protect your eyes from diabetes, and results showing that vitamin B3 may help treat common blinding eye disease.

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