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Nutrients for the aging eye

Authors Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ

Published Date June 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 741—748

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S45399

Received 19 March 2013, Accepted 30 April 2013, Published 19 June 2013

Helen M Rasmussen,1 Elizabeth J Johnson2

1Educational Studies, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, USA; 2Carotenoid and Health Laboratory, Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA


Abstract: The incidence of age-related eye diseases is expected to rise with the aging of the population. Oxidation and inflammation are implicated in the etiology of these diseases. There is evidence that dietary antioxidants and anti-inflammatories may provide benefit in decreasing the risk of age-related eye disease. Nutrients of interest are vitamins C and E, β-carotene, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. While a recent survey finds that among the baby boomers (45–65 years old), vision is the most important of the five senses, well over half of those surveyed were not aware of the important nutrients that play a key role in eye health. This is evident from a national survey that finds that intake of these key nutrients from dietary sources is below the recommendations or guidelines. Therefore, it is important to educate this population and to create an awareness of the nutrients and foods of particular interest in the prevention of age-related eye disease.

Keywords: nutrition, aging, eye health

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