Lifestyle/Dietary

More News on Aspirin and AMD

Although an Australian study suggests that aspirin raises the risk of developing wet macular degeneration, its limitations must be recognized. First of all the risk is very low. Secondly, the researchers did not have full information on why these people took aspirin. Risks and benefits must be evaluated. Dr. Robert Cykiert, M.D.

Common Herb May Promote Eye Health

AMD might be slowed or improved by chemicals that fight free radical damage. A study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science reports that carnosic acid, a component of the herb rosemary, protects retinal photreceptors. “Rodents pretreated with carnosic acid retained a thicker outer nuclear layer in the eye, indicating that their photoreceptors were protected.” Tests showed healthier photoreceptor function.

 

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AMD & Stargardt's Disease- New Clinical Studies

Gene therapy, stem cell therapy and vitamin A are being clinically tested as potential cures for improved vision in people suffering from age related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease.

It’s a fundamental breakthrough,” said Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute.

Nearly 200 genes involved in vision loss have been identified and biochemical interactions have been explained.

"Nutriceutical" Shows Potential For Treatment of Retinal Disease

Three successful cases of treatment with an oral "nutriceutical" were reported at the annual Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology meeting in Florida. These patients had exhausted all other treatments, “making them candidates for this rescue medicine.”

 

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Diet and AMD

A study report from the nutrition research center at Tufts University reveals a delay in development of AMD-like lesions as the result of a lower glycemic index (GI) diet.  The mice on the lower GI diet had less accumulations of debris in the retina.

Low GI foods are whole grain bread, fruits and vegetables.  High GI foods are white bread and white potatoes.  The lower GI foods initiate a slower release of glucose that is more easily processed by cells.

This study “suggests that diet alone is enough to accelerate or delay the formation of lesions.”

AMD And Diet- What Twins Reveal

Why do twins have different stages of macular degeneration?, inquired Johanna M. Seddon MD, ophthalmologist and lead researcher of a study at Tufts Medical Center.

Vitamin D and AMD

A study in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology reports that high levels of vitamin D appears to be associated with a decreased risk of developing early AMD in women younger than age 75. Women whose levels were the highest had a 59 percent decreased chance of developing early AMD. Once AMD was present vitamin D did not appear to have any effect on the condition. In women 75 years and older, higher levels were associated with a “borderline statistically significant increased risk.” Vitamin D food sources in the sample were milk, fish, fortified margarine and fortified cereal.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids and AMD

A study of over 38,000 women who participated in the recently completed Women’s Health Study indicates that regular consumption of fish is associated with a decreased risk of AMD.  These women did not have AMD at the beginning of the 10 year study and there were 235 cases of confirmed AMD at the end of the study.  Results showed that “regular consumption of DHA and EPA and fish was associated with a 35% to 45% lower risk of visually significant AMD.”  A higher intake of omega 3 fatty acids is significant in the primary preve

AMD Risk

A key factor in preventing age related macular degeneration is the awareness of modifiable risk factors. Smoking and an unbalanced diet are major, modifiable risk factors.  The good news is that studies show that “past smokers have a risk of developing AMD that is closer to that of nonsmokers.  This is a good incentive for people to stop smoking,” said Dr. Tien Wong, director of the Singapore Eye Research Institute. He recommends a diet high in fiber with a good balance of vegetables and fish and an avoidance of fatty food and red meats.

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