Dietary flavonoids are associated with longitudinal treatment outcomes in neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Harshil Dharamdasani Detaram, Gerald Liew, Joshua R. Lewis, Nicola P. Bondonno, Catherine P. Bondonno, Kim Van Vu, George Burlutsky, Jonathan M. Hodgson, Paul Mitchell, Bamini Gopinath*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess whether dietary intake of flavonoids are associated with longitudinal treatment outcomes of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).

Methods: 547 participants with nAMD were recruited at baseline, 494 were followed-up after receiving 12 months of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy. Baseline dietary intake of flavonoids was determined using a validated food frequency questionnaire. At follow-up, presence of intra-retinal and sub-retinal fluid (IRF and SRF), retinal pigment epithelium detachment and measurements of central macular thickness (CMT) were recorded from optical coherence tomography scans. Visual acuity (VA) was documented using LogMAR charts.

Results: Participants in the first tertile of intake of the flavonol quercetin, and the flavan-3-ols epigallocatechin-3-gallate and epigallocatechin had significantly worse vision than participants in the third tertile-multivariable-adjusted least square (LS) mean VA: 14.68 vs. 19.53 (p = 0.04); 14.06 vs. 18.89 (p = 0.04); 13.86 vs. 18.86 (p = 0.03), respectively. Participants in the first compared to the third tertile of flavan-3-ol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate and epigallocatechin intake all had a twofold higher risk of IRF, multivariable-adjusted p trend of: 0.03, 0.01 and 0.02, respectively. The first vs. the third tertile of tea intake had significantly worse vision (LS mean VA: 13.49 vs. 19.04, p = 0.02), increased risk of IRF (OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.18-3.85) and greater mean CMT (279.59 μm vs. 256.52 μm, p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Higher intakes of dietary flavonoids, specifically flavonols and flavan-3-ols, could be associated with better long-term treatment outcomes in nAMD patients receiving anti-VEGF therapy. Confirmation of these associations in interventional studies could result in promising new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of nAMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4243-4250
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Early online date19 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • age-related macular degeneration
  • flavonoids
  • retina
  • tea
  • catechin
  • vision


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