Another reason why taking your Anti-oxidants, Omega3 Fish Oils, mineral supplements and multi-vitamins is critical to help you perform, better, harder, stronger for longer.
New research on macular degeneration saving eyesight
- From:The Australian
- May 28, 2012
NEW research to reduce the impacts of macular degeneration, including slowing its onset in older Australians, could save thousands of people from losing their eyesight later in life.
Over the next three years, Sydney’s Westmead Hospital’s head of ophthalmology Paul Mitchell will be heading a trial that will look at the effects of low glycemic index foods, such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, in people showing signs of macular degeneration.
“Most people, if they can be treated early, you can stop the loss of their vision,” Professor Mitchell said yesterday.
More than one million Australians aged over 50 have some evidence of the genetic disease, which results in failing eyesight and the late onset of blindness.
Professor Mitchell said two genes had been found to work together to cause macular degeneration, but genetic testing was not yet available under Medicare.
He said previous studies, including the 10-year Blue Mountains eye study, had shown sufferers who took supplements containing anti-oxidants, zinc and fish oils could reduce the onset and effects of the disease. Yellow vegetables and egg yolks were also significant.
“The fact that you can modify diet to reduce your genetic risk, that’s the way gene research should be used,” he said.
“If you carry the gene and modify your diet you can reduce your risk of getting macular degeneration.”
Australian comedian Jean Kittson, 56, knows failing eyesight and blindness in her family is a genetic legacy.
Her mother Elaine, 87, has almost lost her vision to macular degeneration and both her uncles have it, as did one of their parents and other ancestors.
Kittson said her mother first suffered eye problems 15 years ago and her optometrist at the time told her she would go blind.
“It was cruel and callous the way it happened - it wasn’t a diagnosable condition at the time and it wasn’t that long ago,” Kittson said.
Smoking has also been proved to be a significant risk factor, and Kittson said her mother had begun smoking during the war years, as with most women.
“My mother was a prolific reader and used to read two books a day - now she has talking books,” Kittson said.
“She’s always been a very independent woman and always had her own car but she has to rely on my dad to take her places.”
Kittson has her eyes checked annually and ensures her two daughters eat the right foods in a bid to avoid the condition.