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Eating one orange per day cuts age-related blindness



Eating one orange per day cuts age-related blindness

Vegetables and fruits are well known as an important part of a healthy diet. But scientists now say including oranges as a regular part of diet reduces chances of developing sight loss. According to the findings of a new research published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,’ Oranges reduce macular degeneration by as much as 60 per cent. Macular degeneration, which typically occurs in older people, is a medical condition which may result in blurred or no vision in the centre of the visual field. Early on, there are often no symptoms, but over time, however, some people ex-perience a gradual worsening of vision that may affect one or both eyes.

While it does not result in complete blindness, loss of central vision can make it hard to recognise faces, drive, read, or perform other activities of daily life. The data collected by researchers during the new study spanning 15 years, suggests that the health boost from oranges, is caused by flavonoids in the fruit. Flavonoids, powerful antioxidants are a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Along with carotenoids, they are responsible for the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables.

These flavonoids have been linked to anti- inflammatory boosts for the immune system for a number of years, but this is the first time they’ve been analysed in connection with this eye disease, which affects millions of people over the age of 50.

The researchers looked at data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a populationbased study in Australia that got underway in 1992. They picked out 2,037 individuals aged 50 and above who were asked about their dietary habits, with a follow up analysis added a decade and a half later, the ‘mailonline’ reported. Those who reported eating oranges regularly were significantly less likely to have developed macular degeneration over that 15 year timespan, and it seems as though the flavonoids in oranges were the key. Study team Bamini Gopinath and epidemiologist from the University of Sydney in Australia, said the researchers examined common foods that contain flavonoids such as tea, apples, red wine and oranges.

He said, “Essentially we found that people who eat at least one serving of orange every day have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who never eat oranges.” He added, “Even eating an orange once a week seems to offer significant benefits.”

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