LMU 96 – Oranges: The Unexpected Guardians Against Macular Degeneration
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2018)
Lifestyle Medicine Update (July 20, 2018)
In the vast tapestry of health, certain revelations shine like beacons, illuminating pathways towards better lives. A groundbreaking study emerged in 2018, etching a remarkable connection between oranges and the prevention of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration, a relentless adversary stealing sight from those over 55, finds no cure. Yet, within the vibrant hues of oranges, a potential shield against this threat emerges, capturing the attention of the eye disease research community.
Oranges’ Power Against Macular Degeneration
Within the annals of scientific literature, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition heralded a game-changing study in 2018. Its focus? The transformative power of oranges in the realm of macular degeneration prevention. This ailment, a silent thief of sight, occupies the forefront as a leading cause of blindness among those in their golden years. Armed with a 15-year journey of exploration, the researchers navigated the intriguing landscape where oranges and macular degeneration intersect.
A Journey Through Research: Oranges and Macular Degeneration
Embarking on a journey to unearth the secrets held within oranges, the researchers engaged over 2,000 Australian adults aged over 50. These individuals became participants in a 15-year odyssey, a testament to science’s unwavering dedication to unravelling mysteries. The findings, unveiled with precision, showcased a remarkable statistic—a more than 60% reduced risk of developing advanced macular degeneration over 15 years for those who savored at least one serving of oranges daily. Even a weekly rendezvous with an orange bore significant benefits, echoing a simple yet powerful truth.
Nutrition and Lifestyle: Building Blocks of Protection
Amid the cacophony of health’s myriad factors, diet and lifestyle emerge as architects of protection. The footprint of macular degeneration bears testament to this truth. Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking stand as looming shadows, casting risks upon the canvas of our lives. Counteracting these threats involves maintaining a lean physique, embracing exercise, nurturing a cholesterol-friendly diet, and eschewing the vice of smoking. Through these pillars, the risk of this formidable eye ailment retreats.
The Role of Free Radicals and Antioxidants
The narrative of macular degeneration is not solely penned by the hands of genetics and lifestyle. Free radicals, spawned by the sun’s ultraviolet embrace, wreak havoc upon the eyes. It is within this realm that antioxidants arise as steadfast allies, waging a battle against free radical incursions. A chorus of nutrients—vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin—forms the vanguard of this defence. United, they halt or slow the inexorable march of macular degeneration, while also safeguarding against cataract development.
Flavonoids: Nature’s Canvas of Protection
Within the canvas of nutrition, the 2018 study painted a portrait of flavonoids, vibrant compounds manifesting in various foods. Tea, apples, red wine, and oranges all contributed to this symphony of nutrients. Yet, in this chorus, only one voice soared—the orange. Its presence proved significant, with consumption emerging as a protective force against macular degeneration. The singular act of enjoying an orange daily or more offered a 60% lower risk of encountering this affliction over the 15-year span.
A Taste of Wisdom: One Orange a Day
The profound lesson embedded within the 2018 study is as simple as it is transformative. The consumption of a single orange daily may well serve as a cornerstone of ocular health. As the curtains rise on life’s stages, the role of oranges transcends taste, becoming guardians against the spectre of macular degeneration—a relentless foe lurking as we age.
Conclusion: Savoring Health Through Oranges
In the grand tapestry of health and wellness, oranges emerge as unsung heroes, bearing the gift of sight preservation. The symphony of research, painted across years of exploration, underscores the potent connection between oranges and macular degeneration’s deterrence. As the scientific and medical communities unravel these revelations, one truth remains—an orange a day may offer a vibrant shield, fending off the dark shroud of blindness.
- Bamini Gopinath et al. (2018). Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. [Link] (https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqy114/5049680)
- 2018 Study Summary: [Link] (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712100504.htm)
- AREDS Study – National Eye Institute: [Link] (https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/108/2/381/5049680)
- Macular Degeneration Risk Factors: [Link] (https://www.medicinenet.com/macular_degeneration/article.htm)
- UV-light and Macular Degeneration Risk from Free Radicals: [Link] (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21646979)
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great
Dr. James Meschino
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.