Researchers recently discovered that a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) was associated with a 41% reduced risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study evaluated 4,446 patients at least 55 years old from the Netherlands and 550 French patients older than 73. The team measured adherence to the MeDi using a nine-point scale based on vegetable, fruit, legume, cereal, fish, meat, dairy and alcohol intake and the monounsaturated-to-saturated fatty acids ratio. They then estimated the associations of incidence of AMD with MeDi.

The researchers found that 155 participants developed advanced incident AMD; 117 were from the Netherlands and 38 were French. They add that participants with higher MeDi scores (six to nine) did not face a significant risk of developing AMD compared with participants who had lower MeDi scores (zero to three).

The study concludes that a diet rich in healthy, nutrient-rich foods—such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish—plays an important role in the prevention of AMD.

Merle BMJ, Colijn JM, Cougnard-Grégoire A, et al. Mediterranean diet and incidence of advanced AMD: the eye-risk consortium. Ophthalmology. August 13, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].