This nutrient in diet may lower vision loss risk in older people

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A recent study from the National Eye Institute reveals that dietary nitrate intake is associated with a reduced risk of the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

AMD is a prominent cause of blindness globally and is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans aged 65 years and older.

As the number of older Americans is projected to increase dramatically, from 48 million to 88 million by 2050, this finding could potentially safeguard the vision of millions.

In the study, scientists examined the link between dietary nitrate intake and AMD progression using data from the prospective Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2 randomized clinical trial cohorts, as well as extended follow-up studies.

Data from 7,788 participants in the combined AREDS/AREDS2 cohort, accounting for 13,511 eligible eyes, was included in the analysis.

The results indicate a clear correlation between dietary nitrate intake and a reduced risk of progression to late-stage AMD.

Risks for geographic atrophy (GA) and neovascular AMD (nAMD), both advanced forms of the disease, were also decreased with higher nitrate intake.

However, this beneficial effect of increased nitrate intake was not observed in other eye diseases.

The researchers noted an association between the Mediterranean diet, which is known to be rich in plant-based foods, and dietary nitrate intake.

They suggest that many of the benefits associated with nitrate intake can be ascribed to plant-based dietary patterns, like a Mediterranean diet, in general.

The implications of this study could extend beyond AMD, as other studies suggest that vitamin B may help combat vision loss, and a Mediterranean diet could contribute to brain health protection.

Additionally, emerging research indicates that olive oil may increase longevity, and vitamin D could potentially lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

This research, conducted by Geoffrey K. Broadhead et al, has been published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about the harm of vitamin D deficiency you need to know, and does eating potatoes increase your blood pressure?

For more information about health, please see recent studies about unhealthy habits that may increase high blood pressure risk, and results showing MIND diet may reduce the risk of vision loss disease.

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