Navigation Links
Why Popeye only has eyes for spinach

Eating spinach could protect your eyes from the leading cause of blindness in western society, say experts at The University of Manchester.

With the aid of a new eye instrument, they have launched a study to see if the vegetable that endows Popeye with his super-human strength could also explain why the 77-year-old sailor has no need for spectacles!

Spinach and some other vegetables like sweetcorn, kale and broccoli are rich in a chemical called lutein, which, together with another carotenoid, zeaxanthin, form an oily, yellow substance at a central point of the retina known as the macula.

This yellow oil, called macular pigment, is thought to protect the macula from age-related macular degeneration or AMD, a disease that studies in the UK have shown to affect up to 12% of men and 29% of women over the age of 75.

"The macula is a small area of the retina responsible for seeing detail and colour in our central field of vision," said Dr Ian Murray, who is leading the research in Manchester's Faculty of Life Sciences.

"Our work has already found strong evidence to suggest that macular pigment provides some protection against AMD but we want to discover whether eating vegetables rich in these chemicals will have a direct impact on the disease.

"Since macular pigment is wholly derived from our diet we would expect that eating foods containing high levels of these compounds increases macular pigment and so helps slow the degenerative process. This latest study on volunteers with early-stage AMD will test that idea."

Scientists do not yet understand why some people are susceptible to age-related macular degeneration but warn the incidence is likely to rise as the population ages.

In collaboration with Tinsley Ophthalmic Instruments, Dr Murray's lab has developed a lightweight instrument that can measure the levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and provide an indication as to whether low levels of macular pigm ent may be linked with premature visual impairment.

"If the instrument demonstrates that the patient has low levels of macular pigment then they can be advised to take a lutein or zeaxanthin supplement and encouraged to eat vegetables high in these carotenoids.

"AMD is a devastating disease where sufferers slowly lose central vision making reading and most day-to-day activities virtually impossible. The main risk factors for the disease are age and heritance but it is also linked to controllable factors such as poor diet, smoking and obesity.

"Having their macular pigment measured and learning about the health of their eyes might be the first step to a change in lifestyle for many people."
'"/>

Source:University of Manchester


Related biology news :

1. Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim
2. Researchers find new giant amphibian fossils in Africa
3. Extinct giant deers descendant found in UK
4. One small step means giant leap for spinal cord research
5. The giant protein titin helps build muscles
6. Brighter future for giant panda?
7. Prehistoric mystery organism verified as giant fungus
8. Variation in womens X chromosomes may explain differences among individuals, between sexes
9. Disease diagnosis, biodefense among UH chemical research projects
10. HIV drug resistance increasing in UK and among highest in the world
11. Why we give: New study finds evidence of generosity among our early human ancestors

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ... the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief ... to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as ...
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Avomeen Analytical Services, an ... its 2017 Science Student Award. The scholarship program is dedicated to helping those ... defray the costs of obtaining their science education. , Avomeen began the annual ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , ... September 19, 2017 ... ... State Department of Financial Services (NYS DFS) cybersecurity regulations have transitioned ... finance and insurance organizations operating in the state (“Covered Entities”) to conduct ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... ... to produce biochar, briquettes, and torrefied wood is the topic of a ... To characterize the potential economic viability of transportable biomass conversion facilities for producing ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... 2017   Montrium , a growing leader in Electronic ... with a groundbreaking non-profit research organization, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic ... MAPS ... PTSD ... Therapy Designation to MDMA for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ...
Breaking Biology Technology: