Nutritional Habits of College-Aged Students can Influence AMD Odds

( The dietary habits of students at the post-secondary level can impact whether or not they end up with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) down the road, according to the Macular Degeneration Association.

The article noted that a 36-month long study being conducted by persons from the LSU School of Human Ecology, Division of Human Nutrition and Food, focuses on how the nutritional habits of students who are college-aged can impact their eye wellness in their later years.

According to the article, LSU research associate Emily Nickens, one of the people conducting the study, said that the study was the first to look at AMD from the perspective of college-aged students and how their dietary habits could impact whether or not they were impacted by the eye condition. As part of the study, participants were required to detail in a journal everything they consumed over the course of the entire day. The journal was later processed to obtain the results. Then the information was used to assess the students’ macular thickness. People with significant macular pigment optical density (MPOD) scores are less likely to come down with AMD than are those with lower MPOD, according to the article.

LSU research associate Holiday Durham, one of the people conducting the study, said in the article that the study focused on important antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein as well as fatty acid omega-3 DHA. These nutrients, said Durham, help to safeguard eye health. Durham added in the article that foods that have critical nutrients include Atlantic salmon, kale and spinach.

The study, which is still in progress, has around 120 student participants. The researchers hope to recruit another 12o or so additional persons in order to generate stronger, more reliable findings.

Separately, the article noted that AMD is caused by the progressive erosion of the macula, which sits in the retina’s center. The condition largely impacts people who are 50 years old and older, particularly those with a substantial body mass index. The article added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted in a 2010 study not only that Louisiana was No. 5 on the list of the most obese states in the U.S., but also that the adult obesity rate was more than 31%. Moreover, the number of AMD cases continues to rise as obesity rates climb.



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