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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the recommended diet for someone with macular degeneration?

    A relative of mine has macular degeneration. Should he be avoiding certain foods/liquids? Adhering to a more healthy diet?
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    Retina Australia (Queensland) provides peer support, information, awareness and advocacy to people with degenerating sight due to a retinal eye disease. Some examples of retinal ... View Profile

    To maintain macular health, a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants is recommended.  In particular, the antioxidant vitamins (A,C and E), fish oil, zinc, lutein, selenium and zeaxanthin are important for macular function.  For someone with macular degeneration and anyone wanting to maintain good macular health,  a daily supplement containing the above vitamins and minerals is recommended.  There are several varieties available without a prescription from pharmacies.  Also, just as important as nutritional advice, is the recommendation not to smoke and the recommendation to wear UV protectant sunglasses whenever outdoors. 

    This is the advice from Retina Australia based on broadly available research.  Every case of macular degeneration is individual and it is always recommended to seek the advice of your optometrist and / or ophthalmologist.

    For further information, or to contact Retina Australia (Qld) go to the website at www.retinaqld.org.au  or the national organisation at www.retinaaustralia.com.au

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    Have been in private practice for 35 years and specialise in assessing eye diseases and giving professional advice regarding these conditions. With the installation of ... View Profile

    A great source of information in this area has been provided by The Macular Disease Foundation Australia. They have an excellent hand out, I provide to all my patients, ‘Nutrition For Macular Degeneration’.

    Call them on 1800 111 709 for support, you will be so happy, their service is great.

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    The Macular Disease Foundation Australia is committed to reducing the incidence and impact of macular disease in Australia through education and awareness programs, research, provision ... View Profile

    Nutrition plays an important role in optimising macular health, reducing the risk of macular degeneration and slowing the progression of the disease in those diagnosed.

    A diet rich in omega-3, lutein and zeaxanthin is important for good macular health.

    Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in particularly high levels in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and silver beet. They are also present in a range of other vegetables such as peas, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn and beans.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are important to eye health. All fish and shellfish contain omega-3s but higher concentrations are found in oily varieties such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, trout, herring and sardines.

    Adopting these simple practices as a normal part of your diet can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, whether or not you have been diagnosed with the disease.

    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
    • Eat dark green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit daily  
    • Eat fish two to three times a week
    • Choose low glycemic index (low GI) carbohydrates instead of high GI
    • Eat a handful of nuts a week
    • Limit the intake of fats and oils
    • Keep a healthy lifestyle – maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly
    • Consider taking a suitable supplement in collaboration with your doctor
    For more information, guidance, support and understanding contact the Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or www.mdfoundation.com.au

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