A low glycemic index diet slows AMD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the primary cause of blindness in developed countries, affecting a quarter of people over 75. It is characterized by damage to the macula that impacts the central field of vision and leads to blindness. Several studies have already underlined the importance of the role of diet in the incidence of this disease. In a multicenter study, researchers focused on high- or low-carbohydrate diets. They observed that diets that incorporate high glycemic index foods lead to hypopigmentation and atrophy of the pigment epithelium, which were not observed with low glycemic index foods. Low glycemic index foods effectively limit the accumulation of advanced glycation end products and polyunsaturated fats, which are harmful to retinal cells. Analysis of the intestinal microbiota confirmed the influence of diet on the composition of the microbiota. An association was proven between the presence of Chlostridia, AMD lesions, and high glycemic index foods. Furthermore, the presence of Bacteroidetes was instead associated with a protective effect against AMD lesions and with a low glycemic index diet. These results indicate a functional interaction between diet, microbiota, and AMD. Most importantly, a low glycemic index diet, even started late in life, might stop the development of AMD.
Rowan S et al. Involvement of a gut-retina axis in protection against dietary glycemia-induced age-related macular degeneration. PNAS 2017, May 30 ; 114(22) : E4472-E4481 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28507131