The health benefits of eating oranges have long been known, but now there’s one more benefit to add to the list. It now seems that eating oranges can help an individual stave of the effects of macular degeneration.
According to a new study done at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia, people who regularly eat oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration than people who do not eat oranges.
The research was done through interviewing more than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 50 and following them over a 15-year period. Some of the conclusions that were reached showed that people who ate at least one serving of oranges every day had more than a 60% reduced risk of developing late macular degeneration 15 years later.
According to lead Researcher Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney the data show that it’s the flavonoids in the oranges that appears to be helping prevent the eye disease. While the most extreme results were associated with eating at least one orange a day, it was noted that even eating one orange a week could also offer significant benefits.
Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in almost all fruits and vegetables, and they have important anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system. Inflammation is known to be the cause of many human ailments.
One in seven Australians over 50 have some signs of macular degeneration. Age is the strongest known risk factor and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50 and there is currently no known cure for the disease.
This epidemiology study is one of the world’s largest and it included measuring the diet and lifestyle factors against health outcomes and a range of chronic diseases. The aim of the research is to understand why eye diseases occur as well as the genetic and environmental conditions that may threaten vision.