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Tags Archives: ophthalmologist

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4 years ago Health News

How Avocados Benefit Your Eyes & Brain

You’ve likely heard about how an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But have you heard about the benefits of an avocado a day? According to a new study performed at Tufts University, eating one whole, fresh avocado each day can contribute to better eye and brain function in older adults who are otherwise healthy.

The researchers followed 40 health adults aged 50 years and older as they ate one avocado each day for a period of six months. The participants in the control group ate either one cup of chickpeas or a medium potato each day. The control group foods have approximately the same number of calories as an avocado, but with less nutritional benefits, like monounsaturated fats and lutein.

Lutein, a pigment found in some fruits and vegetables, builds up in the bloodstream, eyes, and brain. It can work as an anti-inflammatory agent and an antioxidant. In the group that ate a whole avocado each day, researchers found a 25% increase in lutein. The same participants had better results on cognition tests that measured processing speed, attention levels, and memory.

The lutein levels more than doubled in the eye when compared to the control group. Elizabeth Johnson, the study’s lead investigator, indicated that a balanced diet that includes avocados could be a strategy for improving cognitive health.

A typical daily serving is only one third of an avocado, so more research is needed to see if the same results can be achieved by consuming less than one whole avocado. However, the research does reinforce research that shows that the avocado has health benefits.

The Hass Avocado Board commissioned the research, and the results were published in the journal Nutrients.

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5 years ago Health News

Updated Recommendations for Eye Exams in Diabetic Patients

New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine looks at the current recommendation that all patients with type 1 diabetes need annual eye exams.

Since diabetic retinopathy can damage tissue at the back of the eye and trigger full blindness, patients have been advised for years to get annual eye exams regardless of personal risk level. However, not every patient with type 1 diabetes is at the same level of risk.

During the study, investigators looked at patients with type 1 diabetes from ages 13 to 39 years who had enrolled in a national trial from 1983 to 1989. Investigators also analyzed 24,000 eye exams conducted over 30 years and tracked retinal photographs, vision, diabetes history, and retinopathy status. It was found that participants with an average blood sugar level of 6% and no signs of retinopathy could have eye exams spaced further apart.

Author of the study, Dr. David Nathan (director of the Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital), indicated that patients who have good blood sugar levels and minimal eye changes may not need eye exams every year. However, patients who have blood sugar levels outside of the recommended range or who are already developing eye disease may need exams as frequently as three months apart.

New recommendations for patients with type 1 diabetes that reduce the need for frequent eye exams translates to an overall healthcare industry savings of $1 billion. It is still unknown if physicians will use these findings to adjust how often eye exams are recommended.

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