VISION loss affects almost two million people in the UK. The leading cause of vision loss is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which currently affects about 600,000 people in the country.
Eating leafy green kale could reduce the risk of developing AMD.
Kale is rich in the antioxidant lutein, which is needed for healthy eyes.
Lutein could dramatically reduce the number of severe AMD cases, research has revealed.
The antioxidant, which is also found in spinach, carrots, broccoli and eggs, could also be taken as a supplement to reduce the risk of developing AMD.
Medical nutritionist and Healthspan Medical Director, Dr Sarah Brewer, said: “Lutein is a vitamin-like carotenoid produced by plants, which contributes to the colour of some fruit and vegetables, such as sweetcorn, orange and yellow peppers and the bright yellow of egg yolk.
“The body cannot make this antioxidant pigment itself, so eating a diet that is rich in lutein is vital as it is needed for healthy eyes.
“Dark green leaves such as kale and spinach are also good sources, as are eggs, but if you don't eat these regularly lutein supplements are available.”
Brewer’s comments came after a 2015 study revealed both lutein and the antioxidant zeaxanthin played a role in reducing the risk of AMD.
The study investigated the effects of lutein supplements on AMD development.
Patients taking either 10mg or 20mg of lutein supplements, over a 48-week period, saw a significant rise in retinal sensitivity.
A separate study revealed taking daily supplements of lutein (10mg) and zeaxanthin (2mg) for five years reduced the risk of AMD developing by between 10 and 25 percent.
Brewer said: “It’s great news that simply taking a supplement may prevent AMD, which is one of the leading causes of blindness in later life.
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