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Dietary Antioxidants Reduce The Risk For Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye disease, common in older adults, that slowly results in vision loss. Although no known treatment for AMD currently exists, evidence strongly suggests that an oxidative mechanism is involved in the development of the disease.

A Dutch cohort study of 4,170 adults over the age of 55 was conducted to analyze the association between dietary antioxidants and AMD risk. Data on antioxidant intake was collected using a 170-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

The resultant data suggests that high dietary intakes of vitamin E and zinc were independently associated with a lower risk of incident for AMD. Furthermore, an above average combined intake of vitamins C and E, beta carotene and zinc, resulted in a significant 35% risk reduction for AMD. Based upon the results of this observational study, the researchers conclude that a high dietary intake of vitamins E and C, beta carotene and zinc, may substantially reduce the risk of AMD.

Van Leeuwen, R. et al, "Dietary Intake of Antioxidants and Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration", JAMA, December 28, 2005; Vol. 294, No. 24;3101-3107

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