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Fruit and AMD

Fruit and AMD

"The more fruit a person ate the less likely he or she seemed to develop neovascular AMD." In a recent study scientists found that people who ate at least three daily servings of bananas oranges and other fruits had a 36% lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than people who ate fewer than 1.5 servings a day. The study included 77 562 women and 40 866 men who were at least 50 years old and had no evidence of AMD. All participants completed questionnaires about their food intake as well as vitamin and supplement use at different intervals. The scientists followed the women for up to 18 years and the men for up to 12 years. During that time 329 women and 135 men developed early stage AMD and 217 women and 99 men developed neovascular AMD. The more fruit a person ate the less likely he or she seemed to develop neovascular AMD but not early stage AMD.

More surprisingly vegetables vitamins and carotenoids the compounds responsible for red yellow and orange pigment in some fruits and vegetables did not appear to affect the risk. Because there s little to be done about AMD once it sets in researchers have been strongly focused on prevention. While some studies have found that antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplementation protects against AMD there s been little research looking at fruit and vegetable intake in relation to the condition. No one knows why fruit might have this beneficial effect. However fruit intake has been related to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and neovascular AMD has been related to cardiovascular risk factors both of which suggest that the answer may lie somewhere along this pathway.

The scientists reported their findings in the June issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology and also stated that of several fruits examined oranges and bananas have the strongest association. According to the scientists they will need to replicate their findings and determine which component of fruit drives the risk.

With files from www.healthday.com

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