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Lettuce, Kale And Leafy Veggies Can Cut Risk Of Glaucoma

Update Date: Jan 15, 2016 07:09 PM EST

Intake of nitrate-rich foods like green leafy vegetables can decrease risk of a particular type of glaucoma that does not show any symptoms before damaging the eye.

According to UPI, researchers at Harvard Medical School conducted a study of over a 100,000 people to find that increased consumption of green leafy vegetables was linked with up to 30 percent lowered risk of primary open-angle glaucoma. The condition causes a slow buildup of eye pressure. As the cornea adjusts, the symptoms of a problem are not visible until vision impairment occurs.

"Higher dietary nitrate and green leafy vegetable intake was associated with a lower POAG risk, particularly POAG with early paracentral VF loss at diagnosis," researchers wrote in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. The participants were part of the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

The authors explained that Nitric Oxide can regulate the flow of aqueous humor, a gelatinous liquid in the eye and could lower pressure.

Researchers admitted that they had to rely on self-reported data and medical records as they could not conduct repeated examinations. They also said that participants in the two cohorts were largely white so the findings cannot be generalized to other populations. Researchers however reported other findings.

"In a study of African Americans, kale and collard intake was also associated with a lower POAG risk," they wrote.

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