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Prevent macular degeneration with one simple food
2009-11-05

According to a recent study, you can cut your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by adding one kind of food to your diet. In fact, by eating more of this food, you may slash your risk by a whopping 35 percent.

So for those of you who worry about losing your driver‘s license or making out the fine print on your medicine bottles, keep reading. In a moment, you‘ll learn about which kind of food works best to prevent AMD and how much you need. You‘ll be surprised to learn just how simple it is! But first let‘s take a quick look at how AMD starts...

The deck‘s stacked against you

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Smoking ups your risk, but so does the simple act of getting older. In fact, as the years pass, your risk of getting AMD skyrockets.

For instance, only about 10 percent of men and women between the ages 66 to 74 have AMD. But what a difference a few years makes! By age 75, almost a third of all men and women will get some degree of the disease.

Subtle symptoms to start

There are two types of AMD—wet and dry. Both involve damage to the macula, a part of your retina.

With dry AMD, the tissue in the macula slowly erodes causing your central vision to become blurry or dark. Wet AMD is far less common. This occurs when tiny blood vessels under the macula begin to leak and cause scarring to your retina.

The problem is, symptoms of both wet and dry AMD can be subtle to start. Images in the center of your vision appear out of focus. But the disease can progress quickly. And I‘ve seen too many people lose their ability to drive because of preventable AMD.

The good news is, you can help protect yourself against AMD and keep your vision strong well into your 80s and 90s and beyond. Here‘s how...

Stack the deck in your favor!

U.S. scientists looked at the eating habits of nearly 2,000 men and women with a moderate-to-high risk of developing AMD.

After 12 years, they found that men and women who ate fish every week got some added protection against AMD. In fact, those men and women who ate the most fish cut their risk of developing wet AMD by 35 percent and dry AMD by 32 percent.

What‘s so great about fish? Sure, it supports heart health. And it‘s a great source of protein. But can it really protect your eyes?

Yes, it can!

And that‘s because certain types of fish contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients protect you against heart disease, diabetes, and depression. And, yes, they even support the healthy nerves in your eyes! In fact, that‘s why companies like Enfamil and Nestle now add DHA and AHA (both fatty acids) to their baby formula. They know these nutrients support eye development in babies!

Protect your eyesight into your 80s and 90s

So how much fish do you need to eat to get results? Well, according to a similar study published last year by a group of Australian scientists, you don‘t need much. In fact, their patients who ate fish just twice a week slashed their risk of developing advanced AMD by 38 percent!

So what does that mean for you?


Well, if you want to protect your vision into your 80s and 90s (and who doesn‘t?), strive to eat salmon, herring, sardines or tuna two to three times a week. These fish contain the highest amounts of omega-3s. But avoid the farm-raised varieties. They can contain shocking amounts of mercury and other toxins. Instead, go for wild caught fish to avoid the toxins.

You can also up your omega-3s by eating walnuts, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts or by taking a high-quality fish oil supplement. But remember, omega-3s tend to increase free radical production. So you always want to get plenty of selenium and vitamin E along with any fish oil supplement.




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disclaimer

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Consumers are cautioned to read all labels and follow all directions. You should always consult with your physician before using these or any such products. Pregnant or lactating women, or anyone with any illness should consult with their medical doctor prior to taking these products.