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Do Leafy Greens Prevent Glaucoma?

March 12, 2016

 

-Primary open-angle glaucoma rates lower in people who ate lots of leafy greens

(taken from MedPage)

 

Men and women who ate more leafy greens had a lower risk for developing primary open-angle glaucoma, especially cases with early paracentral visual field loss, researchers reported.

In a large, retrospective analysis, intake of more nitrate-rich foods like leafy greens was associated with a 20% to 30% lower risk for primary open-angle (POA) glaucoma, especially for cases with early paracentral visual field (VF) loss in which cases the association had a 40%-50% lower risk, Jae H. Kang, ScD, of Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, reported in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Previous research has suggested nitric oxide (NO) plays a role in the development of POA glaucoma and ocular blood circulation. And according to the authors, roughly 80% of nitrate intake is derived from leafy green vegetables.

Mechanistically, the authors proposed that the blood vessels for the inferior paracentral fibers in the macula vulnerability zone are vulnerable to compromised blood flow from the shear forces of acute arcuate turns. And the NO contributes to better ocular blood flow and intraocular pressure (IOP).

 

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