Aside from a running gag in most stoner or marijuana enthusiast flicks, glaucoma is a serious condition that affects a large part of the American population. In an attempt to find out more potential cures for the disease, scientists find green leafy vegetables to prevent glaucoma.
After realizing that nitrates can work wonders for blood circulation, that green, leafy vegetables contain plenty of them, and that glaucoma is caused by an increased pressure and a disruption in the optic nerve, a team of scientists decided to test whether green vegetables can perhaps prevent the onset of glaucoma.
And 32 years after the beginning of the study, the results are finally in – indeed, green, leafy vegetables can work to prevent glaucoma, by about 30%, anyway.
The study began in 1984 and ended in 2012, and the researchers looked at a sample of 104,987 participants, 63,893 females and 41,094 males.
All participants were in their 40s when starting the trial and none of them had symptoms associated with glaucoma.
Every 2 years, the participants would undertake eye exams, and they had to fill in questionnaires related to their diet, nitrate consumption, and to have their glaucoma risk evaluated.
The participants were also divided into 5 groups, depending on their dietary habits and the levels of nitrate in their systems.
During the trials, 1,483 participants developed a form of glaucoma – primary open-angle glaucoma, or POAG.
After the decades long study, the researchers finally looked over the data and came up with a conclusion.
Those participants that ate green leafy vegetables rich in nitrates turned out to have as high as a 30% lower chance of developing primary open-angle glaucoma.
The study came as a result of the fact that other previous studies showed evidence that nitrate was very beneficial for blood circulation.
With the increasing amounts of data collected by other researchers about the increasingly abundant problem that was glaucoma, with it affecting over 3 million American citizens, the researchers decided to check if previous theories that suggested that higher levels of natural nitrate worked wonders for blood flow.
Some of the plants rich in nitrate are the usual suspects – leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, or lettuce.
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