Did you know that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in people in developed nations? What if diet could slow the progression of AMD?

Research published in the December 28, 2005, issue of JAMA suggests that some kind of dietary intervention may benefit older clients. Subjects were men and women 55 or older who were living in a middle-class suburb in the Netherlands. After a period of 8 years, the participants with a higher regular dietary intake of certain antioxidants had a reduced incidence of AMD.

The researchers concluded that “dietary intake of both vitamin E and zinc was inversely associated with incident AMD. . . . An above-median intake of all four nutrients [studied] (beta carotene, vitamins C and E and zinc) was associated with a 35% reduced risk of AMD” in elderly patients.