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Diet Associated With Slower Eye Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration progresses slower with DHA-rich diet

WEDNESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with early age-related macular degeneration have slower progression of their condition if they eat a diet high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while a diet rich in DHA and with a low glycemic index is associated with slower progression of the advanced stage of the disease, according to a study published online June 9 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Chung-Jung Chiu, D.D.S., of Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of 2,924 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study age-related macular degeneration trial who provided dietary information at baseline and fundus photographs over an eight-year period.

There was a lower risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration in participants whose intake of DHA was 64.0 mg/day or more compared to those who had less than 26.0 mg/day, the investigators found. There was also a lower risk among those whose diet had a glycemic index of less than 75.2 compared to those with a dietary glycemic index of 81.5 or more.

"The present study adds additional support to the idea that diet and, if necessary, supplementation can be optimized for the prevention of age-related macular degeneration. However, some issues require further study," the authors write. "Because adverse effects may appear only after long-term use, and the effect of an intervention may vary by different stages of disease development, the duration and timing of an intervention should be evaluated carefully."

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