October 08, 2007
Low Glycemic Index Diet Delays Macular Degeneration

Avoid the carbohydrates which digest quickly and your eyes won't age as rapidly.

Eating fewer refined carbohydrates may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study from researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

AMD results in partial or total blindness in 7 to 15% of the elderly, according to the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group. “Dietary changes may be the most practical and cost-effective prevention method to combat progression of AMD,” says Allen Taylor, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the USDA HNRCA. “It is surprising there is so little attention focused on the relationship between AMD and carbohydrates.”

The current study, published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, builds on a recent analysis by Taylor and colleagues that found men and women older than 55 who consumed diets with higher-than-average dietary glycemic index foods appeared to have an increased risk for both early and later stages of AMD.

Eat less white bread and more whole grains. Or shift from grains toward beans and the lower glycemic index rices (not that fluffy stuff you find in Chinese restaurants).

A lower glycemic index diet which slows and delays development of AMD probably has more general effects on the rate of aging through out the body.

“Our data showed those people in the high-glycemic-index group were at greater risk of AMD progression, especially those already in the late stages,” says first author Chung-Jung Chiu, DDS, PhD, scientist in the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the USDA HNRCA and assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. “Participants who consumed the most refined carbohydrates were 17 percent more likely to develop blinding AMD than the group that consumed the least.”

If you can slow your rate of aging by a small amount doing so might allow you to live long enough to still be alive and mentally mostly intact by the time rejuvenation therapies become available. If you want to shift toward a lower glycemic index diet then see this chart of glycemic index in foods.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 October 08 09:52 PM  Aging Diet Eye Studies


Comments
momochan said at October 9, 2007 1:55 PM:

For about the past 5 years I have been eating beans as a staple, instead of bread/rice/potatoes/pasta/grains. In the morning I have my yogurt on top of a bowl of beans! And I'm doing just fine; a recent physical exam with bloodwork revealed a steady blood sugar and no problems so far.
When I quit eating sugar years ago my near-sightedness actually improved slightly. Also my subjective impression is that my skin doesn't sunburn as easily, nor do insect bites cause as much swelling. Perhaps there is a link between sugar intake and inflammation. Certainly sugar intake is bad for my immune response.

Veggielover said at July 22, 2013 7:28 PM:

It's crazy to me that the article recommends eating low-glycemic foods, and then you recommend replacing white bread (GI 75) with whole grains, when the GI of whole wheat bread is still 74. Brown rice has a GI of 68.

The glycemic index of broccoli is 10. The GI of lettuce, mushrooms, cabbage, onions, peppers - all 10. Nuts are around 15 and fruits average 40 (although dates come in at a whopping 103). A sweet potato is GI 44. If you want to eat low GI foods, eat beans, fruits, and veggies!

(All taken from http://tri-betic.com/2011/08/glycemic-index-table-for-common-foods/, the chart linked above only has processed food)

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