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Eggs save your eyesight and help counteract retinal degeneration

April 17, 2023
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Eggs save your eyesight and help counteract retinal degeneration

Eggs help protect the retina and save vision. In fact, moderate egg consumption has been shown to counteract macular degeneration or, if it is already present, to reduce the risk of its evolution towards more serious stages of the disease. This emerges from a very interesting research published in the Clinical Nutrition journal by a team of Australian researchers from the University of Sydney [1].

Are eggs good or bad?

Eggs have gone, in recent years, from being a demonized food to one of the foods considered allies for health. This is due to the numerous scientific researches that have shown that the moderate consumption of eggs does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease but, on the contrary, can even be protective for the heart. Eggs, if consumed without excesses and included in a varied and balanced diet, even help to keep body weight and cholesterol under control. Not only that, studies have also revealed that eggs are rich in two precious antioxidant substances, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two carotenoids found in the yolk. Lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the central area of the retina, or macula, and protect it from damage from light rays. From this consideration it is legitimate to hypothesize that the eggs, therefore, can also be protective for the sight. The research we are talking about today managed to analyze the long-term action of eggs on the macula, thus evaluating a possible preventive effect against macular degeneration, which are diseases that affect the macula and can lead to the loss of central vision.

Eggs contrast macular degeneration, the study

The researchers recruited 3654 volunteers, all over 49 years old. Study participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire to rate how many eggs per week they used to consume.

Then, the volunteers were followed up for a period of 15 years, in order to allow monitoring of the health of the macula through photographs of the retina. What emerged was that those who used to consume a moderate but regular amount of eggs, 2 to 4 eggs a week, had a 49% lower risk of developing macular degeneration in the following 15 years. Not only that, the protective action of the eggs was even greater, more than 60% risk reduction, when we talk about a particular type of maculopathy, called wet maculopathy due to the formation of new blood vessels under the retina. Finally, in the case of maculopathy already present or in any case arising during the study, those who consumed 2 to 4 eggs per week had a 54% reduction in the risk that maculopathy would evolve to more advanced stages.

Conclusions

Eggs therefore find space within a healthy and varied diet. In fact, regular and moderate consumption of these foods has not only been shown to protect the heart but also the retina from the risk of developing macular degeneration or worsening, in the years to come, to more advanced stages in the case of already diagnosed macular degeneration. The study looked at total egg consumption, including poached eggs, boiled eggs, fried eggs, and omelettes. Lutein and zeaxanthin, in fact, resist heat well, which, on the contrary, increases their availability.

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