Research review suggests diet is linked to AMD

Posted: Tuesday 17 July 2018

While many research articles have associated diet with the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a recent review has suggested there is evidence in these claims.

The analysis of 18 studies, which was published in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology, found that a Mediterranean diet was more likely to slow the progression of AMD, while Oriental eating habits were connected with lower AMD prevalence (fewer people in the population having the condition).

However, a Western diet was associated with higher AMD prevalence due to a higher intake of red and processed meat, high-fat dairy products, fried potatoes, refined grains and eggs. 

Scientists found that high consumption of vegetables rich in carotenoids and fatty fish containing omega-3 fatty acids was beneficial for those at risk of AMD. Conventionally, Oriental and Mediterranean diets are rich in vegetables, legumes, whole grains and seafood.

High glycaemic index diets (high in foods which release their energy quickly) and alcohol consumption of more than two units per day had an increased association with the condition.

Lead author, Naoko Chapman, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, emphasised: “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.” 

Find out more about how your diet can help protect your eyes.