Researchers from the US have shown that yellow plant pigments play a role in protecting people from developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The study conducted by the scientists at the University of Wisconsin, which has been published in the Journal of Ophthalmology, states that carrots might not actually help a person in the dark but brightly coloured yellow and green vegetables do have the ability to enhance sight. Researchers have explained that sweet corn, broccoli, peas and squash contain the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which might offer protection against damage to eyesight later in life.
The researchers explained that these compounds called as carotenoids, might reduce the risk of AMD by absorbing blue light that could damage the back of the retina. They are also the compounds that give the characteristic colour for fruits, vegetables, and even egg yolk.
The researchers said, "This exploratory observation is consistent with a broad body of evidence from observational and experimental studies that suggests that these carotenoids may protect against AMD." They said that that more conclusive evidence should be obtained from long-term potential studies and clinical trials so as to get a better clue of the link.
Robyn Guymer, an ophthalmologist from the Centre for Eye Research Australia, while welcoming the findings said that it is disappointing that they have not proved a stronger association between vegetables and AMD. Professor Guymer mentioned that it is expected that another larger study that was launched recently in the US might throw more light on the subject.