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Fruit, Statins Help Preserve Vision

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An apple a day may keep the eye doctor away. In addition to fruit, cholesterol lowering drugs may also help preserve your vision.

Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is the leading cause of blindness among older Americans, taking out the center of vision.

But there may be an easy way to keep it from happening.

Dr. Eunyoung Cho/ Brigham and Women's hospital: "We found that fruit intake was related to a reduced risk of AMD."

Researchers found people who ate at least three servings of fruit a day had a thirty-six percent lower risk of developing a-m-d.

Scientists don't know the exact reason why. But they do know you should eat plenty of fruit.

The finding doesn't come as a shock since fruit has multiple health benefits. But what might be surprising is a second study that took a look at statins.

Researchers found these cholesterol lowering drugs may also benefit your eyesight.

Dr. Gerald McGwin, Jr./ University of Alabama: "While they clearly are effective in lowering cholesterol, which is what they're primarily prescribed for, they may have other effects on the body."

Researchers found that, like fruit, statins may also reduce the risk of a-m-d.

But this latest study found the pills might also stop the development of glaucoma, which robs peripheral vision.

Dr. Gerald McGwin, Jr.: "People who used statins for two years or more had a 40 percent reduced risk for glaucoma."

Like fruit with macular degeneration, experts aren't sure why statins may aid in the prevention of glaucoma.

But the fact that a newer treatment, and one of the oldest around, may keep people seeing clearly has doctors looking hard for an answer.

But like all prescription drugs, statins also carry side effects. So you have to weigh the risks against all the potential benefit.

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