New research has emphasised the importance of diet in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Writing in Ophthalmology, scientists highlighted the benefits of a Mediterranean diet in reducing an individual’s risk of developing the sight-threatening condition.
The authors analysed data from two separate European studies, involving 4446 Dutch participants and 550 French participants. The French study recruited those aged 73 and older while Dutch participants were aged 55 and older.
Adherence to a Mediterranean diet was judged by assessing the intake vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, fish, meat, dairy products, alcohol, and the monounsaturated-to-saturated fatty acids ratio.
The researchers found that those who closely followed a Mediterranean diet were 41% less likely to develop advanced AMD than those who did not.
They also observed that a high consumption of individual elements of the diet was not enough to ward off AMD. Instead, it was the combined dietary pattern that led to reduced risk.
The Mediterranean diet involves eating less red meat and more fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, olive oil and unrefined grains.