A new study has revealed that a diet composed of green leafy vegetables is effective against the development of the most prevalent type of glaucoma.
According to the researchers who carried out the study, this finding can significantly help those at risk of going blind due to this eye disease, UPI reported.
For their report, the researchers analyzed the data collected by the Nurses' Health Study from 1984 to 2012. They then compared this to the results the Health Professionals Follow-up Study which was conducted from 1986 to 2012.
In these two studies, various health-related information such as diet and eye conditions of the participants were analyzed. After going through the reports, the researchers saw a correlation between the proper diet and the risk of developing primary open-angle glaucoma or POAG.
According to the Lighthouse News Daily, this form of eye disease can be considered the most common yet dangerous one as it often appears with little warning. This condition begins with a progressively increasing ocular pressure without exhibiting any traditional symptoms of glaucoma. Eventually, the increasing pressure will cause the optic nerve cells to die and lead to blind spots.
As blind spots emerge, patients will first notice a minor disruption in their peripheral visions. Then, if left untreated, the condition could result in total blindness.
Based on the studies carried out by the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the researchers realized that those who maintained healthy diets rich in nitrates and leafy vegetables had lower risks of getting POAG than those who didn't.
In fact, they noted that regularly eating vegetables led to a decrease in POAG risk by 20 to 30 percent. Also, those with high nitrate levels were around 50 percent less likely to develop another type of eye condition called paracentral visual field loss.
The researchers, however, noted that what they found in their study was just a link between vegetables and the lower risk of POAG. Further studies still need to be conducted in order to identify the exact cause affecting these two factors.
But, the researchers maintained that these findings can contribute to the treatment and prevention of POAG.
"These findings could have important implications for POAG if the association of higher dietary nitrate and green leafy vegetable intake with a lower POAG risk is confirmed in observational or intervention studies," the researchers wrote in the study which was published on January 14 in the journal JAMA Opthalmology.