In an attempt to characterize the lifestyle and nutritional risk profile associated with the Mediterranean diet in Portuguese patients with and without age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a team of researchers suggests that a high adherence score confers protection against the development of AMD. Specifically, the researchers identified fruits and antioxidant micronutrients as statistically significant protective factors.

This study evaluated 883 patients—434 with AMD and 449 without—who underwent a full risk evaluation that included a lifestyle‐related risk factor assessment and a food frequency questionnaire. Each patient was then assigned a Mediterranean diet adherence score based on their individual food intakes, which were further broken down to micronutrient consumption.

The team found that physical activity, high Mediterranean scores (≥6) and increased consumption of fruits, caffeine, fibers, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E all have a protective role in AMD.

Raimundo M, Mira F, da Luz Cachulo M, et al. Adherence to a Mediterranean diet, lifestyle and age-related macular degeneration: the Coimbra Eye Story—report 3. Acta Ophthalmologica. September 14, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].