Consuming Antioxidants and Fish May Prevent Macular Degeneration

Published Online: Friday, January 17, 2014
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Consuming antioxidants and fish may protect against macular degeneration in individuals who are at a high genetic risk for developing the condition, according to a recent study.

The pooled analysis, published online on December 2, 2013, in Ophthalmology, examined the relationship between dietary consumption of antioxidants and fish and the genetic susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration. Using data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study and the Rotterdam Study, the researchers examined how these 2 factors affected the risk for developing the disorder. Dietary intake of antioxidants and fish were estimated from food frequency questionnaires, and genetic risk was classified as low or high, depending on the number of risk alleles.

The results indicated that high antioxidant intake and weekly consumption of fish were associated with a reduced risk for macular degeneration among individuals at a high genetic risk for the condition. Individuals at a high risk for macular degeneration who had the highest antioxidant intake had a >20% reduced risk of early age-related macular degeneration. High-risk individuals who ate fish on a weekly basis saw a 40% decreased risk of late age-related macular degeneration.

The authors of the study suggest that increased antioxidant and fish consumption may help to prevent macular degeneration in patients with high genetic risk.

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