Declining eyesight: Small red food may protect against age-related vision loss

The state of Britain's eyesight

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From ageing to genetics, there are various factors affecting your eyesight. Luckily, new research suggests that regularly eating a small amount of certain food may prevent or delay a condition called macular degeneration.

Ageing can change many things about your body, including your eyesight.

It can cause loss of peripheral vision and impact the way you see colours, All About Vision explains.

One other condition that affects the eyes is age-related macular degeneration, or AMD for short.

AMD affects people in their 50 and 60s, targeting the middle part of their vision, the NHS explains.

This condition doesn’t cause total blindness but it can make some activities like reading and recognising faces more difficult.

If you leave AMD untreated, your vision may decline even further.

The good news is that new research has found that a small serving of dried goji berries may help prevent or delay it.

The research, conducted by the University of California, Davis, reports that this can be achieved in healthy middle-aged people.

The participants, aged between 45 to 65, ate 28 grams of goji berries five times a week for 90 days.

After this time, their density of protective eye pigments increased.

There was also another group who didn’t eat goji berries but stuck to a commercial eye health supplement.

However, the second group didn’t experience any increase.

The pigments that increased in the goji berry group are called lutein and zeaxanthin

These pigments filter out harmful blue light and provide antioxidant protection. Both help to protect the eyes during ageing, the study reports.

Lead author Xiang Li explained: “Lutein and zeaxanthin are like sunscreen for your eyes.

“The higher the lutein and zeaxanthin in your retina, the more protection you have. 

“Our study found that even in normal healthy eyes, these optical pigments can be increased with a small daily serving of goji berries.”

Goji berries are thought to have “eye brightening” qualities in Chinese medicine.

This new research shows that eating about a handful could have protective abilities against AMD too.

However, the study published in the journal Nutrients only looked at a small sample of people.

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