Eat an or­ange a day to help beat blind­ness

Irish Daily Mirror - - IRISH DAILY MIRROR - BY MARTIN BAGOT Health and Sci­ence Cor­re­spon­dent martin.bagot@mir­ror.co.uk

AN or­ange a day keeps the op­ti­cian away, re­searchers claim.

It more than halves the risk of de­vel­op­ing mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, an in­cur­able con­di­tion that leads to grad­ual loss of vi­sion and is the most com­mon cause of sight loss in the el­derly.

In a study of over 2,000 over-50s, those who had at least one or­ange a day had more than 60% less risk of de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease 15 years later than those who did not.

Sci­en­tists be­lieve the key is the an­tiox­i­dant flavonoids found in the fruit. How­ever, no sim­i­lar ef­fect was found in other foods rich in flavonoids such as tea, red wine and ap­ples by the team at the West­mead In­sti­tute for Med­i­cal Re­search in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. Study leader Prof Bamini Gopinath, of the Univer­sity of Syd­ney, said: “We found peo­ple who eat at least one serve of or­ange ev­ery day have a re­duced risk of de­vel­op­ing mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion com­pared with peo­ple who never eat or­anges.

“The data shows that flavonoids found in or­anges ap­pear to help pro­tect against the dis­ease.”

Pre­vi­ous stud­ies fo­cused on the ef­fects of com­mon nu­tri­ents such as vi­ta­mins C, E and A on the eyes.

Around 600,000 peo­ple in the UK have sight loss caused by the in­cur­able dis­ease and around 70,000 new cases are di­ag­nosed ev­ery year, equiv­a­lent to nearly 200 per day.

BLACK bananas and mouldy ap­ples could be a thing of the past thanks to an 11-year-old girl’s hi-tech fruit bowl.

Ru­maan Ma­lik’s Alarm Cup, win­ner of the Ocado Food Waste Challenge, alerts own­ers when fruit is about to go off.

Ru­maan, of Grasby, Lincs, said: “Ap­ples are my favourite but they were al­ways go­ing all soft when my mum left them out in the fruit bowl. That’s when I thought of my idea.”

Now Ocado plans to roll out the de­vice for cus­tomers.

HEAD TURNER Ai­dan greets Shara in box yes­ter­day VIEW TO A THRILL Bros­nan WILD TIME David At­ten­bor­ough TV ROY­ALTY Jenna Cole­man MATCH Comic Mcintyre and his wife Kitty

EYES PEELED Good for vi­sion

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