People who take vitamins and nutrients, such as zinc and omega 3 fatty acids , in their daily diet are at lower risk of developing macular degeneration.
The findings were made by researchers from several different universities in the Netherlands, including Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.
The condition causes retinal damage and vision loss in more than 6% of Americans, around the age of 40. Macular degeneration can be treated with medication or surgery. However, the condition is not reversible even after treatment.
During the study, experts examined 2,167 people over the age of 55. Each of them has one or more genes that predispose to macular degeneration. The researchers also took into account the eating habits of the volunteers .
Researchers go back 10 years in time to track vision loss. This is possible because the participants' vision is examined every 3 years.
The researchers concluded that people who took zinc, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids or lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene daily had a significantly reduced risk of developing macular degeneration .
Foods rich in zinc are: oysters, red meat, nuts and beans. Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and anchovies.
Beta carotene is found in many fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, apricots and green peppers. And foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are: eggs and all leafy vegetables.