Several population studies have shown a probable benefit from certain dietary food groups in helping to protect the macula from the effects of ageing. These food groups include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables: eg: kale, spinach, broccoli, coloured greens. This food group is rich in Lutein which is part of macular pigment.
- Coloured vegetables: eg: yellow capsicum, corn, tangerines, pumpkin. This group is rich in Zeaxanthine which is also a macular pigment.
- Cold water oily fish: eg: salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel. This food group is rich in the Omega 3 fatty acids which is important for nerve function. It is recommended that there may be 2-3 servings of fish per week.
- Nuts: eg. Walnuts – this food group is rich in antioxidants.
The role of Vitamins
A study called the AREDS (Age Related Eye Disease Study) examined the effect of
high dose vitamins in the prevention of macular degeneration.
The doses here were:
- Vitamin A: 15mg
- Vitamin C: 500mg
- Vitamin E: I/U
The study confirmed a modest benefit for patients at risk of advanced disease.