Age-related macular degeneration stopped by carotenoids in carrots

By: Devon Andre | Health News | Friday, October 09, 2015 - 10:00 AM

Age-related macular degeneration stopped by carotenoids in carrotsAge-related macular degeneration, a condition that affects the eyes, can be stopped by carotenoids found in carrots. By now you have probably heard carrots are good for your eyes, but new findings really show that they can go a long way to stop age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that occurs over time. It can cause central blurry vision and requires the use of glasses as a form of vision correction.

Carotenoids are found in carrots and are what is responsible for their orange color. Carotenoids are also found in kale, sweet potatoes, orange peppers and broccoli. Dr. Paul Bernstein from the University of Utah School of Medicine said, “I tell my patients that fruit and vegetable consumption are very important for eye health – this study validates that notion.”

Genetics, environment, and nutrition have all been found to contribute to AMD.

For the new research data was collected from seniors over the age of 50 (102,000 people). 2.5 percent of participants had either intermediate or advanced AMD. The findings suggested that those who consumed high levels of carotenoids had a 40 percent lower chance of developing AMD.

Research lead, Joanne Wu, M.D., said, “Other carotenoids, including beta cryptoxanthin, alpha carotene and beta carotene, may also play protective roles.”

Bernstein pointed out the study does have some flaws. The data was based on the participant’s recollection of their diet over the years – this does leave room for error. Furthermore, the study does not reveal the amount of carotenoids which are most beneficial for vision health.

The take-away here is that we should be consuming fruits and vegetables regardless; they offer many benefits that can improve our health overall. If you’re consuming less than two servings a day, you will want to increase that to deter illness in general.

The findings were published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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