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Dietary carbs linked to vision loss

Dieting • • Eye / Vision ProblemsJul 30, 07

The carbohydrates present in a diet can influence the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of vision loss in older adults, according to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“AMD appears to share several carbohydrate-related mechanisms and risk factors with diabetes-related diseases, including (eye) and cardiovascular disease,” write Dr. Allen Taylor, of Tufts University, Boston, and colleagues. “However, to date, only one small study has addressed this issue.”

To investigate further, the researchers conducted a study of 4,099 participants, aged 55 to 80 years, in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study.

The team classified a total of 8,125 eyes into one of five AMD groups based on the severity of the disease and other factors.

Regular consumption of a diet with a high-glycemic index - a diet containing carbs that quickly raise blood sugar levels—significantly increased the risk of AMD relative to regular consumption of a diet with a low-glycemic index.

The researchers calculate that 20 percent of AMD cases could have been prevented if subjects had consumed diets with a low-glycemic index.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2007.

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