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Carbohydrates linked to macular degeneration.

A low glycemic-index diet, which suppresses the release of blood sugar, may reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, according to a recent report. *

Researchers gathered data from more than 4,000 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). The study revealed that individuals with the lowest dietary glycemic index had the lowest prevalence of macular degeneration, which is a major cause of irreversible blindness and appears to be linked to several diabetes-related diseases including those of the eyes and heart. Furthermore, the scientists estimated that as many as 20% of cases of macular degeneration could have been prevented if the study participants had consumed diets with a glycemic index below the median.

"These cross-sectional analyses suggest that poor dietary carbohydrate quality as defined by dietary glycemic index, a modifiable risk factor, may increase the risk of [macular degeneration] through several common etiologic factors of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including the formation of advanced glycation end products and increases in oxidative stress, inflammation, and hyperlipidemia," wrote the researchers.


* Chiu CJ, Milton RC, Gensler G, Taylor A. Association between dietary glycemic index and age-related macular degeneration in nondiabetic participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jul;86(1):180-8.

--Marc Ellman, MD
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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Author:Ellman, Marc
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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