Diet rich in fat ups risk of major eye disease

"Influencing the types of microbes that reside in your gut either through diet or by other means may thus affect the chances of developing AMD and progression of this blinding disease," Sapieha noted.

Published:November 16, 2016 10:29 pm

Diets rich in fat can bring such changes in the bacterial communities of your gut that they can eventually increase risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or aggravate the blinding disease, warns a study. Bacteria in your intestines may play an important role in determining if you will develop blinding wet AMD — late form of the disease, said the study published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine. “Our study suggests that diets rich in fat alter the gut microbiome in a way that aggravates wet AMD, a vascular disease of the aging eye,” said lead researcher Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha, Professor at University of Montreal in Canada. “Influencing the types of microbes that reside in your gut either through diet or by other means may thus affect the chances of developing AMD and progression of this blinding disease,” Sapieha noted.

AMD is characterised by a heightened immune response, sizeable deposits of fat debris at the back of the eye called soft drusen (early AMD), destruction of nerve cells, and growth of new diseased blood vessels (wet AMD, late form).While only accounting for roughly 10 per cent of cases of AMD, wet AMD is the primary form leading to blindness.Current treatments becomes less effective with time. It is therefore important to find new ways to prevent the onset of this debilitating disease.

The researchers found that changes in the bacterial communities of your gut, such as those brought on by a diet rich in fat, can cause long-term low-grade inflammation in your whole body and eventually promote diseases such as wet AMD.