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Eating green leafy vegetables could save your sight from glaucoma

Posted in 'General' on January 17, 2016 by Stuart Macfarlane
I am often asked if there are any other factors that will slow the progression of glaucoma or reduce the risk of developing glaucoma. The primary treatment for glaucoma consists of lowering the eye pressure and this is generally achieved with the use of eye drops or sometimes laser or surgery.

A recent study of over 100,000 patients which was published in the January 2016 edition of the Journal of American Medical Association, found that an increased consumption of green leafy vegetables was associated with a 20 to 30% reduction in the risk of developing glaucoma. It also found the increased intake resulted in a reduction in the progression of glaucoma.

An impaired regulation of optic nerve head blood flow has been associated with glaucoma. Nitrate is a precursor for nitric oxide which has been found to improve blood circulation. Green leafy vegetables are the most common source of our dietary nitrate so it stands to reason that increasing the intake of green leafy vegetables will improve blood circulation. 

The green leafy vegetables used in the study include iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, mustard, spinach and chard greens.

So if you have glaucoma or have risk factors for glaucoma such as a family history, are greater than 40 years of age or have sleep apnoea then it would be recommended to increase your intake of green leafy vegetables. As well is being healthy for you it could help save your sight!
The study can be found here