Because nuts are an energy dense food with a high fat content, there is a widespread perception that eating nuts…
Can nuts reduce the risk of macular degeneration?
Although the evidence is limited, there is research to suggest that nuts can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration .
Macular degeneration (MD) is where a small section of the retina called the macula degenerates with age and affects central vision. The macula is a yellow spot and is rich in carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthins. These carotenoids are carried to the eye on HDL good cholesterol.
In a small Australian study, 1-2 handfuls of nuts a week reduced MD by 35% .
It is thought that as the retina is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, nutritional factors such as antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins and essential fatty acids – many of which are found in nuts – may help to protect the eye.
- Dinu, M., et al., Food groups and risk of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Eur J Nutr, 2018.
- Tan, J.S., et al., Dietary fatty acids and the 10-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Arch Ophthalmol, 2009. 127(5): p. 656-65.