Early age related macular degeneration is characterised clinically by yellow deposits known as drusen and changes in pigmentation of the retina. Late age related macular degeneration develops when there is a growth of new blood vessels that bleed into the subretina] space or when the macula atrophies. Both conditions usually lead to severe loss of central vision. The pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration is unclear, older age, genetic markers, and cigarette smoking are the only reported risk factors. Treatment options are few and not very helpful.
Dietary antioxidants have long been suggested as useful for preventing the development and progression of AMD. The retina, with its high oxygen content and constant exposure to light, is particularly susceptible to oxidative damage
Evidence of the role of dietary antioxidants as a primary preventive measure for age related macular degeneration is not conclusive. Some studies, but not others, suggest that diets rich in anti-oxidants may protect against the development of signs of early age related macular degeneration . Chong and colleagues have published a systematic review and meta-analysis of the role of a range of dietary antioxidants in the primary prevention of age related macular degeneration.
The conclusions of this major survey was that there was insufficient evidence to support the use of dietary anti oxidant supplements for the primary prevention of early age related macular degeneration
Chong et al 2007 Dietary anti oxidants and primary prevention of age related macular degeneration : systematic review and meta-analysis . BMJ vol 335, 755-9
- Martin Eastwood