An analysis of recent high-quality research reveals that diet may affect individuals’ risks related to the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The findings are published in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

The systematic review included the analysis of 18 high-quality studies. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet was linked with a decreased risk of AMD progression. An Oriental diet pattern (with higher intake of vegetables, legumes, fruit, whole grains, tomatoes, and seafood) had decreased association with AMD prevalence, whereas a Western diet pattern (with higher intake of red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, fried potatoes, refined grains and eggs) had increased association with AMD prevalence.

High consumption of vegetables rich in carotenoids and fatty fish containing omega-3 fatty acids was beneficial for those at risk of AMD. High glycaemic index diets and alcohol consumption of greater than two drinks a day had increased association with AMD.

“Improving the quality of the diet, increasing the intake of foods that contain the nutrients required by the retina. and avoiding foods that induce oxidative damage will play an important role in protecting against AMD,” said lead author Naoko Chapman, of the University of Auckland, in New Zealand.

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