New research shows good nutrition can reduce risk of bad vision
Eye Health It’s obvious that good diet plays a significant role in keeping our hearts disease-free, but what about our eyes? What are some of the ways in which we can improve our eye health?
A glass a day won’t hurt?
Dr John Nolan is the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group says we need to reduce our alcohol intake. “The odd glass of red wine is OK, but alcohol reduces an antioxidant for the eye which pre- vents cell damage.
“Over the last 20 years, research has been on-going into the role of nutrition for eye health,” he says. “At the back of the eye — in a specialised area of the retina known as the macular — we have a yellow nutritional pigment known as macular pigment.”
Good nutrition contributes to eye health
This pigment, says Dr Nolan, has the capacity to filter damaging blue light, and can therefore reduce the risk of blindness through age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The pigment also has antioxidant properties, which means that it can neutralise free radicals that may attack the stable cells at the back of the eye. Essentially, the pigment acts like sunscreen for the eye.
"Eat anything that is brightly coloured and healthy."
Dr Nolan’s team has been researching the optimisation of this pigment using a particular nutritional supplement. Diet can play a part in macular pigment health, too— so eat anything that is brightly coloured and healthy, says Dr Nolan, such as egg yolks, leafy greens, spinach, kale, broccoli and sweetcorn.
Nutrition and supplements can transform normal sight into super vision
“The theory, supported by scientific evidence, is that if you optimise the pigment with nutrition and a supplement, you can improve a person’s normal vision to a level that they had never experienced before,” says Dr Nolan.
“We’ve termed this high definition super-vision. This has implications for drivers, for sportspeople, for pilots… for the whole population. “We believe anyone interested in optimising their vision will benefit from this area of nutrition. We can improve vision in the young population and protect vision into the later years”.