Age-related maculopathy (ARM) is a common clinical entity. The late-stage manifestations of ARM, which are known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), have devastating consequences for vision. Various risk factors have been identified in the development of the condition, which are consistent with the premise that oxidative stress plays an important role in its pathogenesis. Thus, the possibility that antioxidant balance can be manipulated through diet or supplementation has created much interest. Associations between diet and nutrition and the clinical features of ARM have been described. Scrutiny of the literature shows consistency in the report of notable reductions in serum micronutrients in wet AMD, however, the evidence for causation is still circumstantial. In this comprehensive review of the clinical literature, we have assessed the evidence for a link between diet and nutrition as risk factors for the development of ARM and AMD. All published case control, population-based, and interventional studies on ARM were examined. Although initial support appeared to be moderate and somewhat contradictory, the evidence that lifetime oxidative stress plays an important role in the development of ARM is now compelling. The positive outcomes in the Age-Related Eye Diseases Study, a major controlled clinical trial, have given hope that modulation of the antioxidant balance through supplementation can help prevent progression of ARM to AMD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems