A Low-Glycaemic Diet Could Help Stop Eye Disease

| May 31, 2017

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 50. As its name implies, your risk of AMD increases as you get older, but it also increases if you have diabetes, particularly if your blood sugar is poorly controlled.1 Now, scientists have shown, in an animal study, that following a low-glycaemic diet could reverse the condition.

AMD affects a part of the retina in the eye called the macula. That is the part where an image is focused when you look directly at something. So, people with AMD may notice their vision becoming blurred, or a dark patch in the centre of their visual field, while their peripheral vision is unaffected.

You are only likely to get a diagnosis of AMD after vision loss has begun, and your doctor will probably tell you there is no cure. But new research from the USA suggests that a low-glycaemic diet – low in sugar and rapidly-digested carbohydrates and having minimal impact on blood sugar levels – could prevent the condition or slow its progress.

When scientists fed mice either a low- or high-glycaemic diet, they found that those in the high-glycaemic group developed signs of AMD, while the low-glycaemic group didn’t.2 But what surprised the researchers most was that switching from the high- to low-glycaemic diet halfway through the study actually repaired the retinal damage that had occurred in the high-glycaemic-fed mice.

It seems AMD is driven by a diet high in sugar and simple carbs, which, as we already know, triggers a whole cascade of damage in the body. It alters the balance of gut bacteria, stokes chronic inflammation and creates “advanced glycation end products” or AGEs – sugar-damaged fats and proteins involved in many chronic and age-related diseases.

If you don’t already follow a low-glycaemic diet, saving your sight could be an excellent reason to start – there is more information about it here. In my next blog post, I revisit the dreadful diabetes drug Invokana, which has just been given a “black box” warning for doubling amputation risks!

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. Chen X, Rong SS, Xu Q et al. Diabetes mellitus and risk of age-related macular degeneration: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e108196.

2. Rowan S, Jiang S, Korem T et al. Involvement of a gut-retina axis in protection against dietary glycemia-induced age-related macular degeneration. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017 May 15 (Online ahead of print).

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Category: Diabetes Risks

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