One of the most frequent diseases that appears during the aging process is related to vision. This is the condition known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).
A systematic review of the scientific evidence regarding the role of diet in ARMD revealed that the Mediterranean diet and the oriental diet (based on vegetables, legumes, fruit, whole grains, fish, etc.) are directly related to a lower risk of suffering from this disease. In contrast, the western diet (based on a higher consumption of highly processed foods) contributes to a higher incidence.
Tania Mesa – Director of the Neolife Nutrition and Nursing Unit
Estefanía Schoendorff – Neolife Nutrition and Nursing Unit
Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the primary cause of irreversible vision loss
The condition known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) (1) is an eye disease that arises after the age of 50 as an alteration in the central area of the retina called the macula, which is responsible for the central vision and focus, indispensable for carrying out such frequent or daily activities as reading, driving or watching television.
It is currently the leading cause of irreversible loss of vision worldwide, affecting over 13% in Spain. It is a difficult disease to detect, since most patients don’t experience any signs until blurred vision or other visual disturbances appear. Although there is high genetic risk, unhealthy lifestyle habits influence both its appearance and the way it progresses exponentially.
The risk factors that can be controlled to prevent the onset of this disease, include:
- Cardiovascular diseases such as arterial hypertension.
- Exposure to solar radiation.
- Obesity/Being overweight.
A new study, published last month by the University of Auckland (2), concludes that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of sufferingeye diseases, especially ARMD, as well as slowing down its progression.
A systematic review (3) of the scientific evidence available to date regarding the role of diet in ARMD revealed that the Mediterranean diet and the oriental diet (based on vegetables, legumes, fruit, whole grains, fish, etc.) are directly related to a lower risk of suffering from this disease. In contrast, the western diet (based on a greater consumption of highly processed foods, processed red meats, excess salt, large amounts of additives, excess refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats (especially trans fats)) contributes to a higher incidence.
In addition, this study revealed that consumption of vegetables that are rich in carotenoids, and oily fish rich in Omega 3, such as salmon, decreased the risk of developing ARMD. In contrast, consuming diets with a high glycemic index and drinking more than 2 units of alcohol per day increased the risk of suffering from this disease.
Following a healthy diet, based on the aforementioned foods, will therefore not only allow us to avoid becoming overweight and suffering from obesity, but it will also help to keep at bay such a limiting age-related disease as ARMD or blindness due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
At Neolife, we are working to prevent all the diseases associated with aging, including those that can affect our sense organs, such as vision, by adopting a multidisciplinary approach in our role as specialists in slowing down the biological clock.