A research study in the far east have been studying diabetics for a total of eight years whilst giving them annual eye exams and asking them to complete menu sheets of their diet.
None of the subjects had diagnosed eye sight problems at the start of the study, but over the eight year period, 258 of them had developed diabetic retinopathy. It was found that the subjects that ate a lot of fruit were the least likely to develop the condition.
The study announced that subjects who consumed an average of nine ounces of fruit daily halved the risk of developing the retinopathy compared to the subjects who ate less than one ounce a day. A medium sized apple, pear or orange weighs about 6 ounces. The study has shown a link in eating more fruit and lowering the risk of development but it cannot say that by consuming the fruit it helps prevent the condition.
It is likely that the various vitamins and nutrients found in fruit likelt work together to help protect against eye complications. Those people eating the fruit were also boosting their vitamin C and E intake and additional fibre, sodium and beta carotene. The analysis of the study was well thought out in that it focused on information gatheres over the eight year study period rather than looking at old medical records and old also took into account health factors for diabetic retinopathy such as the age and sex of the subjects, whether or not they were smokers, what they drank in alcohol levels, how much exercise they did and also each of their blood sugar levels. The majority of the subjects ate a low fat diet.
In the United States almost a third of all adult diabetics have diabetic retinopathy and just over four percent have the condition posing a threat to their vision.