Red meat linked to macular degeneration

March 19, 2009 at 8:42 PM

MELBOURNE, March 19 (UPI) -- An Australian study suggests a diet heavy in red meat may increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

The report, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, said people who eat 10 or more portions of red meat each week are nearly 50 percent more likely to experience deterioration of the retina.

Substituting chicken at least three times a week reduces the risk by more than 50 percent, Britain's Telegraph newspaper reported Thursday.

Macular degeneration is caused by the growth of blood vessels under the center of the retina. The blood vessels leak fluid, causing scar tissue that destroys the center of eye, the newspaper said.

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