Gut Microbes Influence Major Eye Disease And Vision Loss, Study Finds

Posted: Nov 16 2016, 7:58am CST | by , Updated: Nov 16 2016, 8:01am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Gut Microbes Influence Major Eye Disease and Vision Loss, Study Finds
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Gut bacteria that are brought on by high fat diet can aggravate diseases like wet AMD

Some microbes that naturally exist in our intestine might be bad for our eyes.  

Researchers have found a connection between gut bacteria and Aged-related Macular Degeneration which damages macula, the small central area of the retina of the eye necessary for sharp, clear vision.

Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMC is the leading cause of blindness among people age 50 and above. An estimated 10 million individuals are affected by the disease in North America while wed macular degeneration is the more advanced type of AMD. It roughly affects 10 percent of people with AMD but accounts for 90 percent of severe vision loss by macular degeneration. 

Wet AMD is characterized by the thickness of retina which eventually destructs nerve cells and leads to the growth of abnormal blood vessels. Since existing treatments of AMD are not much effective, it is therefore important to find new ways to prevent the onset of the disease.

Researchers from University of Montreal have found that gut microbes can play an important role in determining if you will develop blinding wet AMD.

There are many risk factors associated with wet AMD. Overall, abdominal obesity is the second most important risk factor after smoking. Changes in bacterial communities in intestine, such as brought on by a diet rich in fat, can cause long term, gradual inflammation in the whole body and promotes diseases like wet AMD.

Researchers have reached the conclusion by conducting a series of experiments on mice receiving regular fat diet and diet with high fat content. When researchers compared the results, they found that disease progressed when mice received high fat diet.

“Our study suggests that diet rich in fats after the gut microbiome in a way that aggravates with wet AMD, a vascular disease of the aging eye,” said lead researcher Dr. Przemyslaw Sapieha. 

“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.”

 

 

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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