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The healing power of oranges: regular consumption prevents vision loss and blindness


Why oranges can protect against blindness

Oranges are tasty and also very healthy. Researchers have now found that regular consumption of oranges can protect people from one of the main causes of blindness.

The Westmead Institute for Medical Research scientists found in their current investigation that regular consumption of oranges can protect against one of the main causes of blindness. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition".

What is age-related macular degeneration?

In their study, the researchers from Australia investigated whether eating citrus fruits influences the likelihood of developing blindness when people suffer from macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of vision loss in people aged 60 and over. It affects the macula, the central area of ​​the retina. In the United States alone, up to eleven million people have some form of age-related macular degeneration, the experts suspect. The condition causes the loss of central vision, which is essential for clearly recognizing objects.

More than 2,850 participants were examined

For their investigation, the researchers analyzed the data of more than 2,856 Australian adults aged 49 years on average over a period of 15 years. The data comes from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, one of the world's largest epidemiological studies. It contains information about factors such as the lifestyle of a participant and the illnesses developed by them.

Daily consumption of oranges reduced the risk by 60 percent

Daily consumption of at least one serving of oranges was associated with a 60 percent reduction in the overall risk of macular degeneration 15 years later. Doctors suspect that flavonoids in oranges could help prevent the disease. In essence, it was found that people who eat a portion of oranges at least every day have a lower risk of developing macular degeneration compared to people who never eat oranges, explains study author Dr. Bamini Gopinath from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research.

Which foods could have a similar effect?

Current research builds on previous studies, which have already indicated that vitamins C, E and A in oranges are beneficial to the eyes. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties found in most fruits and vegetables. The scientists also found that other foods containing flavonoids, such as tea, apples, and red wine, did not have a similar effect. Earlier studies had already indicated that foods with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and vitamin C and vitamin E could prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Such foods include leafy greens such as spinach, kale and cabbage; oily fish such as salmon and tuna; Protein sources such as eggs, nuts, beans, citrus fruits as well as oysters and pork. (as)

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