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Hearing and vision health Q&As

AMD - an orange a day protects against this eye disease. Why do you think that is?

People who regularly eat fresh oranges have a significantly lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an incurable disease affecting a tiny area of the retina at the back of the eye.
Woman showing oranges
Woman showing oranges
Rédaction Supersmart.
2020-02-03Comments (0)
A study published in August 2018 has shown that people who regularly eat fresh oranges have a significantly lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an incurable disease affecting a tiny area of the retina at the back of the eye.

Scientists at Australia’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research monitored around 2000 people for over 15 years and found that daily consumption of oranges was associated with a 60% lower risk of developing the disease 15 years later. While oranges may not have ‘magic powers’, it seems some of their components do have powerfully protective properties.

"The data shows that it is the flavonoids found in oranges which are responsible for this protective effect", said study author Professor Bamini Gopinath. "Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables. They offer anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system."

In fact these compounds, which help to keep plants healthy and are responsible for the yellow, orange red and purple colours of the various plant parts (1), exert a wide range of biological activity: Discovered over the last 30 years, all these effects have yet to be fully understood and there are likely to be further exciting discoveries to come given the promise shown in the latest findings. For example, several studies have identified an association between ingestion of dietary flavonoids and a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality (15-16).

What’s certain is that it’s important to ensure they are from natural sources (such as those contained in FlavoLife and Grapefruit Extract 99 % naringin). Drinks such as red wine, tea and coffee contain substantial amounts of flavonoids, though it’s Citrus drinks, including orange, which are the best for providing flavonoids.

Which other supplements can help prevent AMD?

Age-related macular degeneration affects those over 55 in particular. It leads to vision problems, with sufferers potentially losing the ability to recognise faces ...

Over the last few years, two compounds have been shown to be beneficial for combatting AMD: The study at the centre of this article:
Bamini Gopinath Gerald Liew Annette Kifley Victoria M Flood Nichole Joachim Joshua R Lewis Jonathan M Hodgson Paul Mitchell. Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2018 DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy114

References

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  10. Sadik CD, Sies H, Schewe T (2003) Inhibition of 15-lipoxygenases by flavonoids: structure–activity relations and mode of action. Biochem Pharmacol 65 (5): 773-81
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  13. Vitor RF, Mota-Filipe H, Teixeira G (2004) Flavonoids of an extract of Pterospartum tridentatum showing endothelial protection against oxidative injury. J Ethnopharmacol 93 (2-3): 363-70
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  17. Schalch W, Cohn W, et al. Arch Biochem Biophys, Xanthophyll accumulation in the human retina during supplementation with lutein or zeaxanthin - the LUXEA (LUtein Xanthophyll Eye Accumulation) study. 2007 Feb 15;458(2):128-35..
  18. Berendschot TT, Goldbohm RA, et al. Influence of lutein supplementation on macular pigment, assessed with two objective techniques. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2000 Oct;41(11):3322-6.
  19. Koh HH, Murray IJ, et al. Plasma and macular responses to lutein supplement in subjects with and without age-related maculopathy: a pilot study. Exp Eye Res. 2004 Jul;79(1):21-7.
  20. Richer S, Stiles W, et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 2004 Apr;75(4):216-30.
  21. Olmedilla B, Granado F, et al. Lutein, but not alpha-tocopherol, supplementation improves visual function in patients with age-related cataracts: a 2-y double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Nutrition. 2003 Jan;19(1):21-4.
  22. Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P. Vitis vinifera L. Fitoterapia 1995; LXVI(4):291-317. Étude mentionnée dans : Therapeutic Research Faculty (Ed). Grape. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.
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