Recent Harvard Study Shows Antioxidant Foods Ward Off Eye-Related Diseases

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A diet rich in antioxidant foods helps ward off AMD, the leading cause of blindness for those over 55. Get Dr. Gross's free CD on antioxidants and health at http://www.berrywiseonline.com

The main focus on dietary supplementation to reduce or prevent AMD is for increased intake of high antioxidant foods.

Nutrition and ophthalmology are beginning to see eye to eye after a recent study by Harvard researchers.

A diet rich in antioxidant foods like fruits and vegetables, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, helps ward off the onset of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness for Americans age 55 and above.

For the more than 13 million Americans with some signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there is no cure. The symptoms include fuzzy vision, wavy lines on a page, and the appearance of dark areas in the center of vision. The study, conducted earlier this year, followed 934 people ages 67-71 and found those who consumed higher levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, had lower levels of C-reactive protein and homocysteine, both of which have been linked to increases in AMD.

"There is plentiful scientific evidence that diet is important to AMD, especially in people over age 75, as this age group is vulnerable to dietary negligence," said Dr. Paul Gross, founder of Berry Health Inc. and an expert on cardiovascular and brain physiology. "The main focus on dietary supplementation to reduce or prevent AMD is for increased intake of high antioxidant foods."

One food high in antioxidants is the berry. The blueberry, for instance, has been praised for its nutritional properties and has been called a Superfood that contains the highest antioxidant power of the 20 most common fruits and berries. Berry Wise, which produces two great-tasting supplements centered around the blueberry, also contains several other nutritional dark-skinned berries, including the cranberry and the acai berry.

As the U.S. population increases in age, information about eye health and nutrition has never been more urgent. There has been a sharp rise in eye-related health issues, with blindness and poor vision currently affecting 3.3 million Americans over 40. That number is expected to increase to 5.5 million by 2020, according to the National Eye Institute.

Foods that fight off vision disorders are a simple way to help prevent a downturn in the quality of life that occurs when sight is impaired or completely lost. The berry, along with other foods rich in eye health nutrients, have become recognized as diet-smart for the elderly.

"Most common dark berries have good levels of vitamins A, C and in some cases E," said Dr. Gross, co-founder of the International Berry Health Association. "They also have rich contents of phenolic pigments that serve as dietary antioxidants in humans and may be helpful in prevention of AMD."

These vitamins, along with several minerals and fibers, have been formulated into the Berry Wise products, which can be purchased at http://www.Berrywiseinc.com. Their functional food philosophy makes them a sort of eye candy for a body's daily dietary needs.

Dr. Gross's free CD on berries, antioxidants and fiber can be found at http://www.berrywiseonline.com

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Tricia Ryan
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