Upping your intake of Vitamin D could significantly lower your risk of developing the leading cause of blindness
You might want to stock your fridge up with milk and fish as scientists suggest that increasing your intake of vitamin D could ward off eye disease in later life and significantly lower your risk of going blind.
A study found women with the highest levels of vitamin D were almost 66 per cent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects about 200,000 Britons each year.
There is currently no cure for AMD, caused by progressive damage to the centre of the retina.
The study, carried out by Buffalo University, New York, examined 1,313 women and discovered that vitamin D blood levels and consumption of the vitamin from food sources and supplements is linked to a reduced risk of AMD in women under the age of 75.
Women with the highest vitamin D intake were 59 per cent less likely to develop the disease than those with the lowest levels. Despite sun being the most important source of vitamin D, the protection was only seen when vitamin D was consumed.
Scientists suggest the top food sources of vitamin D are milk, fish and fortified margarines and cereals. Consumption of omega 3 fish oils is also linked to higher protection.
‘More studies are needed to verify this association as well as to better understand the potential interaction between vitamin D status and genetic and lifestyle factors with respect to risk of AMD,’ says lead author Dr Amy Millen.
Most people should be able to get the vitamin D they need from eating a varied and balanced diet, but Dr Millen suggests women should discuss whether or not they should be taking supplements with their physicians, based on their current vitamin D status.