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Intake of a healthy and balanced diet: miracle for old people.

There has been a Dutch study which links diets rich in four antioxidants beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to lower odds of developing age-related macular// degeneration.

The mention and text of the study can be seen in The Journal of the American Medical Association. It was performed by Redmer van Leeuwen, MD, PhD, and colleagues. Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in developed countries. The Dutch scientists took information from more than 4,100 healthy older adults in a middle-class suburb of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The study started in the early 1990s. Back then, none of the participants had AMD. All were at least 55 years old from a suburb of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Diet related questionnaires were given and participants completed surveys about the foods they typically ate and any supplements they were taking. The data were used to estimate participants' intake of various antioxidants.

Participants' eyes were also screened every three or four years for AMD. They were followed for an average of eight years.

People with above-average intakes of all four antioxidants were 35% less likely to develop AMD during the study. Vitamin E and zinc stood out. Both were linked to lower odds of getting AMD. The more vitamin E or zinc people ate, the lower their risk of AMD, the study shows. The researchers adjusted for other factors that might make AMD more likely.

The Dutch team calls for additional studies to check their findings.

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