A new study in the Archives of Ophthalmology suggests LACK of antioxidants and too much sunlight might INCREASE the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Researchers found, participants with low vitamin levels combined with blue light exposure, had a 40% HIGHER risk of AMD. Reuters reports:

Dr. Astrid Fletcher, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and colleagues found that among the one-quarter of study participants with the lowest total antioxidant levels, the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) rose in tandem with their long-term exposure to blue light from the sun.

Lab research indicates that antioxidants like vitamins C and E, zinc and lutein are important in protecting the retina from the toxic effects of light, Fletcher told Reuters Health. So, she explained, it is biologically plausible that the combination of high sun exposure and low antioxidant levels contributes to AMD risk.

Now, I doubt staring into the sun is a good idea, but eating PLENTY of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is! Especially foods like carrots, tomatoes and beets!

Actually, previous reports have already shown antioxidants, such as carotenoids and lutein, PROTECT against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.