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Proper Diet Can Prevent Vision Loss in the Elderly

A recent research study reveals that an effective diet can prevent loss of vision due to aging. High amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and zinc were found to be effective in reducing the risk of macular degeneration, which can cause vision loss.

In industrialized nations, macular degeneration accounts for 50% of all blindness cases. This dreaded eye disease affects six percent of US adults aged over 40. It cannot be cured even by surgery or medications.

During the study, the Dutch researchers found that adequate amounts of lutein/zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene or zinc in the diet reduced the risk of macular degeneration. The authors say one need not eat excessive quantities of the above nutrients. Sticking to the recommended daily allowance is enough.

In the US, the recommended daily allowance of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. For omega-3 fatty acids, it is 1.6 gm daily for men and 1.1 gm for women.

Zinc is found in beans, nuts, red meat and oysters. Omega-3 fats are commonly found in oily fish. There is plenty of beta carotene in fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. Green leafy vegetables and eggs contain abundant amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein.

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