Individuals who follow the Mediterranean diet (MD) could have a more than 40 per cent lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to new research.
For the study, published in Ophthalmology, researchers analysed data from 4,996 people who participated in the Rotterdam study and the Antioxydants, Lipides Essentiels, Nutrition et Maladies Oculaires (Alienor) study to investigate associations of adherence to the MD with the incidence of advanced AMD. Adherence to the MD was assessed using the MD score with scores ranging from 0 (nonadherence) to 9 (perfect adherence).
They found participants with high adherence (MD score 6-9) showed significantly reduced risk for incident advanced AMD compared with participants with low adherence (MD score 0-3) (hazard ratio [HR] 0.59; 95% CI 0.37-0.95; P=.04). They also found that none of the individual components of the MD on their own lowered the risk of AMD. Instead, it was the entire pattern of eating a nutrient-rich diet that significantly reduced risk.
The authors said the findings support the role of a diet rich in healthy nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish in the prevention of AMD.