A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests an increased risk of long-term incident cortical cataract in the study participants who consumed diets that included excessive amounts of high glycemic carbohydrates over a ten year period.
Given recent estimates of the growing number of health care dollars needed to address degenerative eye diseases, including baby boomer cataract, eye care professionals’ Preferred Practice Patterns and Physician Quality Reporting Initative (PQRI) now suggests lifestyle counseling, including dietary intake and supplementation, to be an important part of all eye exams.
High carbohydrate intake has adverse effects on glucose metabolism. In addition, carbohydrates produce different plasma glucose responses, as measured by the glycemic index (GI). This is a measurement of carbohydrate quality, including the speed at which a given carbohydrate converts to glucose; the higher the glycemic index-the faster the glucose conversion.
We recommend that you take some time to visit www.glycemicindex.com. If you are too busy to do that, just think, “if it’s white, don’t eat it, or eat very little.” White foods with a high GI include anything made from white sugar, white flour, white rice, and potatoes. Unfortunately, most fruits also have a high glycemic index, so we recommend that you limit fruits to no more than two a day.
The Carbohydrate / Cataract Incidence Study
Of the 3654 participants in the Blue Mountain Eye Study, 933 participants completed a detailed 145-item semi-quantitative food-frequencyquestionnaire at baseline and after 5 and 10 year visits. These study participants had no previous cataract surgery or baselinecataract, and they had photographs taken to assess incident cataractwith the Wisconsin Cataract Grading System.
An overall dietary GI value for each study participant was calculated by summing the weighted GI of individual foods, with the weighting proportional to the contribution of individual foods to total carbohydrate intake. At each examination, participants underwent a comprehensive eye examination.
In this study the participants (with or without diabetes) in the top quartile of dietary GI had a significiently increased risk of long-term incident cortical cataract than did participants in the lowest quartile.
Ellen Troyer, MT MA Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer
Ellens Recommendations: Considering that type 2 diabetes is now an epidemic in the U.S., and given the dramatic increase in the risk of type 2 diabetics developing a cortical cataract, it makes biological sense for all of us to limit the intake of high glycemic foods, exercise daily, control portions of nutrient dense foods, and to take a full-spectrum multiple to lower the risk of this type of cataract.
FYI: Cortical cataract forms in the lens cortex – it gradually extends its spokes from the outside of the lens to the center.
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