The right diet can help protect against diseases that affect sight, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 55. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research have found that the combination of a low-glycemic diet combined with vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain quality of life and reduce health care costs due to sight-robbing eye diseases. The study examined dietary intake and other data from more than 4,000 men and women age 55 to 80, who had taken part in the long-term Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). The researchers ranked intake of several nutrients and then calculated a score designed to assess their combined effect on the risk of AMD.
My take? I’ve long advocated eating low on the glycemic index and have recommended increasing consumption of vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zinc to support vision health. I recommend these nutrients and lifestyle changes to address AMD.