Preventing further development of macular degeneration

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Can restricting high glycemic foods help macular degeneration?

Are you familiar with research linking high glycemic foods with incidence of macular degeneration? (NY Times reported on a 7/07 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.) Is there any reason to believe that restricting high glycemic foods, adding in vinegar, or boosting antioxidants by eating lots of leafy greens would help prevent further development of severe macular degeneration?

Jessica / Originally posted on Is Vinegar Good For You?


I’m so glad you brought this up! Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading threat to eyesight among the elderly and responsible for millions of cases of blindness every year. The study you may be referring to is “Dietary glycemic index and the risk of age-related macular degeneration” available full-text here.

As you’ll read, they conclude that “Low-glycemic-index foods such as oatmeal may protect against early AMD.” Eliminating refined carbs may also slow progression.

A study published this year (and available full-text here) suggests that three simple lifestyle behaviors (a healthy diet “abundant in plant foods,” daily exercise, and no smoking) can eliminate most of our risk.

See my video Egg Industry Blind Spot for a discussion of the best sources of eyesight-sparing nutrients and watch my three videos specific to preventing vision loss:

Image Credit: ted_major / Flickr


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

4 responses to “Can restricting high glycemic foods help macular degeneration?

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  1. My mother lost her active lifestyle because of macular degeneration. Last year, at age 65 I was diagnosed w/the same. I went to a second opthamologist and he confirmed the diagnoses. No one ever told my mother about a change in diet nor did either doctors counsel me the advantage of a plant-based diet in order to either prevent or slow progression of the disease.

    THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you so very, very much!!!

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