TUESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Yellow pigments found in some vegetables, including corn and squash, may help protect older women against age-related vision loss, a U.S. study suggests.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison studied 1,787 women ages 50 to 79. The study found that those younger than 75 who ate a diet rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin appeared to have a lower risk of intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The findings were published in the August issue of the journal Archives of Opthalmology.
AMD is the leading cause of blindness among older Americans. There is no cure, and current treatments only slow the progression of the disease.
Carotenoids are found in corn, squash, egg yolks, broccoli, peas and leafy green vegetables. Previous studies have suggested that carotenoids may reduce risk of AMD.
"This exploratory observation is consistent with a broad body of evidence from observational and experimental studies that suggests that these carotenoids may protect against AMD," wrote the authors of this new study.
"Still, given the numerous analyses performed in this study, our results could be due to chance. More conclusive evidence from long-term prospective studies and clinical trials is needed to determine whether the intake of macular carotenoids themselves, or as markers or broader dietary patterns, can protect against intermediate AMD or delay progression in individuals who have early stages of the disease," they added.
The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about AMD.