Association of nutrients, specific dietary patterns, and probiotics with age-related macular degeneration

Yanqun Cao, Yuli Li, Antonia Gkerdi, James Reilly, Zhoujin Tan, Xinhua Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disease that mainly affects those over 50 years old. Even though management of the vascularisation associated with the ''wet'' form of AMD is effective using anti-VEGF drugs, there is currently no treatment for the ''dry'' form of AMD. Given this, it is imperative to develop methods for disease prevention and treatment. For this review, we searched scientific articles via PubMed and Google Scholar, and considered the impact of nutrients, specific dietary patterns, and probiotics on the incidence and progression of AMD. Many studies revealed that regular consumption of foods that contain ω-3 fatty acids is associated with a lower risk for late AMD. Particular dietary patterns - such as the Mediterranean diet that contains ω-3 FAs-rich foods (nuts, olive oil and fish) - seem to be protective against AMD progression compared to Western diets that are rich in fats and carbohydrates. Furthermore, randomized controlled trials that investigated the role of nutrient supplementation in AMD have showed that treatment with antioxidants such as lutein/zeaxanthin, zinc, and carotenoids may be effective against AMD progression. More recent studies have investigated the association of the antioxidant properties of gut bacteria such as Bacteroides and Eysipelotrichi, with lower AMD risk in individuals whose microbiota is enriched with them. These are promising fields of research that may yield the capacity to improve quality of life for millions of people, allowing them to live with clear vision for longer and avoiding the high cost of vision-saving surgery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Early online date11 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2022


  • retina
  • retinal pigment epithelium
  • dietary habits
  • nutrition
  • food intake
  • age-related macular degeneration


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