AMD & Dietary Glycemic Index

Higher dietary glycemic index (dGI) may increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration. A recent Tufts University study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researched the diets, based on dGI, of the 4099 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).*

Dietary glycemic index (dGI) is a ranking of foods on a scale from 1 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with low glycemic indexes, such as beans and apples, release glucose more steadily over several hours. Foods with high glycemic indexes, such as doughnuts, white bread, and bananas, release glucose into the bloodstream quickly causing blood sugar levels to rise rapidly after eating.**

Those AREDS participants whose diet consisted of a higher dietary glycemic index had a significantly higher risk of large drusen, geographic atrophy, and neovascularization as well as the severity of AMD. There was a 49% increase in the risk of advanced AMD for people with a dGI higher than average for their sex (79.3 for men and 77.9 for women)

*Chui, Chung-Jung, Milton, Roy C., Gensler, G., and Taylor, A. “Association between dietary glycemic index and age-related macular degeneration in nondiabetic participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 86, No. 1, 180-188, July 2007.

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