Dietary nitrate may reduce risk of vision loss in older people

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A recent study from the National Eye Institute has discovered a connection between higher dietary nitrate intake and a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in older Americans.

In the study, the researchers analyzed data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2 randomized clinical trial cohorts, including 7,788 participants and 13,511 eligible eyes.

They found a link between increased dietary nitrate intake and reduced risk for late AMD, geographic atrophy (GA), and neovascular AMD (nAMD). However, no association was discovered between nitrate intake and other eye diseases.

Interestingly, the research team also found a connection between the Mediterranean diet and dietary nitrate intake, indicating that the benefits associated with nitrate intake could largely be ascribed to plant-based dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet.

This is encouraging news for those adhering to a Mediterranean diet or contemplating adopting one, given its link to various health benefits.

Implications and Future Directions

These findings underline the significance of maintaining a balanced diet and lifestyle to safeguard our overall health and well-being.

As our understanding of the relationship between nutrition and eye health continues to grow, it’s crucial to stay informed and make knowledgeable decisions about our diets and lifestyles.

The study, conducted by Geoffrey K. Broadhead et al, is published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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