An orange a day slashes risk of failing eyesight, scientists say

An orange a day slashes risk of failing eyesight, scientists say

Eating an orange every day reduces the risk of deteriorating eyesight by up to 60 per cent, a new study suggests.

The 15-year analysis indicated that people who regularly eat oranges are far less likely to develop macular degeneration.

Researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, interviewed more than 2,000 adults aged over 50, following their subsequent progress.

The study showed that people who ate at least one serving of oranges every day had more than a 60per cent reduced risk of developing late macular degeneration 15 years later.

Even eating an orange once a week seemed to offer significant benefits.

Lead Researcher Professor Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney said the data suggest that flavonoids in oranges appear to help prevent against the eye disease.

Until now most research has focused on the effects of common nutrients such as vitamins C, E and A on the eyes.

“Our research is different because we focused on the relationship between flavonoids and macular degeneration,” said Professor Gopinath.

“Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in almost all fruits and vegetables, and they have important anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system.

“We examined common foods that contain flavonoids such as tea, apples, red wine and oranges. Significantly, the data did not show a relationship between other food sources protecting the eyes against the disease.”

Around in seven people over 50 have some signs of macular degeneration.

Age is the strongest known risk factor and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50. There is currently no cure for the disease.

The research compiled data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a benchmark population-based study that started in 1992.

It is one of the world’s largest epidemiology studies, measuring diet and lifestyle factors against health outcomes and a range of chronic diseases.

“Our research aims to understand why eye diseases occur, as well as the genetic and environmental conditions that may threaten vision,” Associate Professor Gopinath concluded.

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