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Green Leafy Vegetables In Our Diet May Prevent Glaucoma

Update Date: Jan 20, 2016 08:53 AM EST

In a recent Harvard-led research, scientists proved that consuming green leafy vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing Glaucoma- one of the world's leading causes of blindness affecting nearly 3 million Americans today.

Also known as the "Silent Thief of Sight", Glaucoma can hit sufferers without the patients ever knowing it due to rare manifestations of symptoms. According to Medical News Today, the irreversible disease can greatly reduce eyesight by as much as 40%.

In a positive note, new findings add more weight to a long list of reasons why people should include vegetables to their healthy diet.

The study suggests nitrate-rich green leafy veggies like lettuce and spinach increases blood circulation in the eyes thereby minimizing the tendencies of contracting primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). In addition, the risk of glaucoma can be lowered as much as 20% to 30% as mentioned in a report by University Herald.

"The analysis showed that those who developed primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) over the course of the research studies were far less likely to include high levels of green leafy vegetables in their diets. In fact, the researchers found that the group consuming the highest amounts of greens had up to a 30 percent lower risk of POAG," a statement from the research team said as quoted by Latinos Health.

The research team, headed by assistant professor Dr. Jae H. Kang of Harvard Medical School in Boston, arrived at such conclusion after monitoring 105, 000 patients from across the United States in a study stretching from 1984 to 2012 as stated in an article by PerfScience.

Every other year since 1984, researchers recorded and tracked the patients' diets and calculated their nitrate intake. They also followed up on how much nitrates each participant was taking in by asking them to answer surveys regarding their diets.

Over the course of more than two decades, 1, 483 participants were subsequently known to have contracted the eye condition.

Apart from the foregoing results mentioned earlier, a diet rich in green leafies was also found to reduce the likelihood of developing a sub-type of POAG known as early paracentral visual field loss by around 40% to 50%.

So far, no known treatment is found to produce a viable cure. Most doctors are focusing on early diagnosis in order to lower the risk factors.

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