The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of vision loss by 41%

It is becoming increasingly clear that poor nutrition plays an important role in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in France. A large collaboration of EU researchers studying the link between genes and lifestyle on the development of AMD found that people on a Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of AMD by 41% at an advanced stage. This research builds on previous studies and suggests that such a regimen is beneficial for anyone who already has the disease or is at risk of developing it.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on the consumption of fish, vegetables, fruits, legumes, unrefined cereals and olive oil. Previous research has already linked its practice to longer life expectancy and reduced incidence of heart disease and cognitive decline. Several recent papers have had a positive impact on AMD.

The Mediterranean diet prevents blinding diseases

AMD is a degenerative eye disease. This results in a loss of central vision, which is crucial for simple daily activities, tells that the ability to see faces, drive, read and write. It is a major cause of vision loss in people aged 50 and over, affecting 1.5 million French people. By 2030, that number is expected to increase by 50% to 2.2 million. This disease is today the leading cause of visual impairment in people over the age of 50 in developing countries. The risk of developing the disease increases with age to exceed 25% of the population after the age of 75 years.

Decrease the occurrence of AMD

For the latter study, researchers looked at food frequency questionnaires of close to 5,000 people who had participated in two previous studies: the Rotterdam study assessed the risk of disease at age 55 and over, and the Alienor study. Patients in the Rotterdam study were examined and food questionnaires were completed every five years for a period of 21 years, while patients in the Alienor study were observed every two years for a period of four years. . The researchers found that those who followed the diet closely were 41% less likely to develop AMD than those who did not follow the diet.

Loss of vision is a public health problem related to poor nutrition

They also found that none of the individual components of a Mediterranean diet per se – fish, fruit, vegetables, and so on. – did not reduce the risk of AMD. On the contrary, it was the tendency to eat a diet rich in nutrients, which greatly reduced the risk of late AMD.

Emily Chew, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, who serves on the research group’s advisory board, said: . Chronic diseases such as AMD, dementia, obesity, and diabetes all have their roots in poor eating habits. »

There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. The dry type affects the environment from 80 to 90% in people with AMD. In dry AMD, small white or yellowish deposits, called drusen, form on the retina, causing it to deteriorate over time. In the wet form, the blood vessels grow under the retina and leak. Although there is an effective treatment for the type of humidity, no treatment is available for dry DMLA at the moment. The solution remains to change its diet and adopt the Mediterranean regime.


Benedict MJ Merle et al. Mediterranean diet and incidence of age-related macular degeneration, ophthalmology (2018). DOI: 10.1016 / j.ophtha.2018.08.006

* Press the effort to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given cannot replace the opinion of a health professional.

Do you have more content?

Receive every day our latest publications for free and directly in your mailbox

Leave a Comment