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Nitrate intake linked to lower risk of early age-related macular degeneration

02 Nov 2018

Total nitrate intake, especially from vegetable sources, is associated with the incidence of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reports a new Australia study.

Using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, researchers evaluated the dietary intake of 2,856 adults. Follow-up after 15 years was conducted on 2,037 participants (mean age 63.8±8.3 years; 43.3 percent male). AMD incidence, the main study outcome, was assessed from retinal photographs.

At baseline, 12.4 percent of the participants were current smokers and more than half (59.4 percent) consumed at least one serving of fish per week. The incidence rates of early and late AMD were 15.3 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.

Dividing participants into quartiles according to energy-adjusted daily nitrate intake, researchers showed that those in the third quartile (119.5–162.3 mg/day; adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.61; 95 percent CI, 0.41–0.90; p<0.05) were significantly less likely to develop early AMD than those in the first quartile. No significant differences were observed for the second and fourth quartiles (p=0.19 for trend).

Stratified analysis according to nitrate source showed that the protective effect of being in the third quartile remained significant for vegetable nitrates (adjusted OR, 0.65; 0.44–0.96; p<0.05) but not for nonvegetable nitrates (adjusted OR, 0.79; 0.54–1.17).

On the other hand, nitrate consumption was consistently unrelated to the risk of late AMD, regardless of source of daily intake volume.  

Though future studies are still required to confirm and strengthen the present conclusions, the findings of the current study indicate that adopting diets rich in nitrate sources such as beetroot and green leafy vegetables may potentially be a simple strategy to minimize early AMD risk, said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
6 days ago
Living a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) even in people with healthy body mass index (BMI), reports a new study.
04 Feb 2019
The carbon-chain length of saturated fatty acids appears to be an important factor in determining its role in cardiovascular health, a recent study has found.
4 days ago
Olanzapine confers a modest therapeutic effect on weight compared with placebo in adult outpatients with anorexia nervosa, a study has shown. However, it does not appear to offer significant benefit for psychological symptoms.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 04 Feb 2019
Treatment with secukinumab results in a higher rate of remission or low-disease activity at week 16 in patients with psoriatic arthritis as compared with placebo, according to a posthoc analysis of the FUTURE 2 study. This effect is sustained at 2 years and is evident in both tumour necrosis factor inhibitor-experienced and -naïve patients.