The macular degeneration which is directly related to age can be reduced by eating carrots which contain the nutrient beta carotene, and also food items which contain zinc, and vitamins C and E . This has been revealed by a new Dutch study. This will contribute towards preventing a condition that cannot be treated easily as it is related to ageing.
The macula which is responsible for the central vision is affected by the macular degeneration, resulting in a dim vision. The condition is due to an abnormal growth in blood cells. This condition has no known cure, even though its progression can be checked.
The US alone accounts for 15 million such cases. This figure is expected to rise due to the longer life span of the people in the country. About 11.5% of the population in the US who are over 80 years are afflicted by this condition, and by the year 2025, the total number of people affected by this ailment is expected to rise to 3 million.
As many as 5,836 people in Rotterdam who ran the risk of contracting this condition participated in the study. They had to fill up questionnaires with regard to food, and also undergo periodic eye checkups. The incidence of macular degeneration was found to be 10% lower in the case of people whose zinc and vitamin E consumption was higher. It was lower by 35% in the case of those who consumed more than the average amount of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and zinc.
Nutritional supplements to those who already consumed high quantities of these nutrients made no difference. The less than the average consumption of these nutrients resulted in the risk factor rising by 20%. Vegetables like kale, carrots, and spinach contain beta carotene, while zinc in meat, poultry, eggs and nuts, vegetable oil, whole grains, dairy products and fish are rich in Vitamin E. Vitamin C is found in broccoli, green peppers, juices, citrus fruits, and potatoes.
A diet which is rich in these will go a long way in preventing macular degeneration when a person grows old. The research was led by Redmer van Leeuwen, MD of the Erasmus Medical Center.