Researchers concluded, in a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that consuming foods high on the glycemic index can increases the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The glycemic index is a measurement of the extent to which foods raise blood sugar levels. Past studies have suggested a link between diets containing high-glycemic-index foods and a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Scientists from the Center on Aging at Tufts University obtained dietary information from 4,099 non-diabetic participants ages 55-80 years (56 percent women) in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). A total of 8,125 eligible eyes at baseline were classified into 1 of 5 AMD groups according to the size and extent of pathological growths known as drusen, the presence of atrophy, and neovascular changes.
Compared with subjects who consumed lower glycemic-index foods, subjects who consumed foods with the highest glycemic index had a significantly higher risk of developing drusen-related damage associated with AMD. Consuming foods with a high-glycemic index also appeared to increase the severity of AMD. For subjects who consumed more high-glycemic foods than the average person their age, there was a 49 percent increase in the risk of advanced AMD.
The study authors concluded that “20% of prevalent cases of AMD would have been eliminated if the AREDS participants consumed diets with a dietary glycemic index below the median.” They went on to state that “a reduction in the dietary glycemic index, a modifiable risk factor, may provide a means of diminishing the risk of AMD.”
This is very important news!