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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
3 days ago
Administering intranasal desmopressin to patients with renal dysfunction not requiring haemodialysis reduces bleeding complications during renal biopsies, especially minor complications such as perinephric haematomas, a study has found. However, it may increase the risk of incident hyponatraemia.
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Adding a LAMA* to the double combination therapy of ICS** plus LABA*** in a single inhaler improves lung function and reduces exacerbations in patients whose asthma is inadequately controlled with the combination treatment, according to the TRIMARAN and TRIGGER# studies presented at ERS 2019.
5 days ago
Environmental quality and exposure to pollution may play a small part in the development of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, a new study has found.
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Sleep deprivation impairs adolescents’ long-term retention of classroom material, according to a recent Singapore study.