Tuesday March 19, 2019

Low Carb and High Fat Diet May Help Maintain Eyesight

Higher rates of glaucoma in people with diabetes suggests a potential connection between this eye disease and metabolic stress.

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Switching mice destined to develop glaucoma to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet protects the cells of the retina and their connections to the brain from degeneration.
Diet is very important in maintaining a healthy eyesight. Pixabay

Besides helping lose weight, consuming a ketogenic diet — which is high fat, low protein and low carbohydrates — can also help maintain vision in patients with glaucoma, finds a study conducted over mice.

Glaucoma is a progressive disease in which damage to the cells that transmit visual information to the brain leads to vision loss and, in some cases, blindness.

Higher rates of glaucoma in people with diabetes suggests a potential connection between this eye disease and metabolic stress.

Switching mice destined to develop glaucoma to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet protects the cells of the retina and their connections to the brain from degeneration.
Low carb diet can maintain eyesight. Pixabay

The findings led by Denise Inman from the Northeast Ohio Medical University in the US showed that low carb, high fat diet protects retina cells and their connections to the brain from degeneration.

Switching mice destined to develop glaucoma to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet protects the cells of the retina and their connections to the brain from degeneration.

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The results, published in the journal JNeurosci, found that feeding mice, genetically modified to develop glaucoma, a ketogenic diet composed of nearly 90 per cent fat for two months protected retinal cells from degeneration by increasing energy availability.

Although further research into this intervention is required, these findings suggest that a ketogenic diet may help to maintain vision in patients with glaucoma, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Study Reveals That Genes Affect Where Fat is Stored in our Bodies

The result of the current study may therefore lead to the development of new interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

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The heart attack brings about activation of certain genes which stay as a permanent memory in genes. Pixabay

Researchers have found that whether you store your fat around the trunk or in other parts of your body is highly influenced by genetic factors.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, also reported that this effect is present predominantly in women and to a much lower extent in men.

“We know that women and men tend to store fat differently – women have the ability to more easily store fat on the hips and legs, while men tend to accumulate fat around the abdomen to a higher extent,” said lead author Mathias Rask-Andersen from Uppsala University in Sweden.

“This has been attributed to the effects of sex hormones such as estrogen. But the molecular mechanisms that control this phenomenon are fairly unknown,” Rask-Andersen added.

For the study, the researchers measured how fat was distributed in nearly 360,000 voluntary participants. The participants gave blood samples for genotyping and the distribution of fat tissue was estimated using impedance measurements, i.e. measurements of electrical resistance when an electrical current is fed through the body.

In the study, millions of genetic variants across the genome were tested for association with distribution of fat to the arms, legs or trunk, and the research team identified nearly a hundred genes that affect distribution of adipose tissue to the different compartments of the human body.

Representational image.

The researchers also saw a high degree of heterogeneity between sexes.

The findings suggest that remodelling of the extracellular matrix is one of the mechanisms that generates differences in body fat distribution, the researchers said.

Fat stored in the trunk has previously been associated with increased disease risk. Men have a greater amount of abdominal fat than women and this may explain the increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease observed in males.

Epidemiological studies have even shown that the ability to store fat around the hips and legs gives women some protection against cardiovascular disease.

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The result of the current study may therefore lead to the development of new interventions to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“The biological systems we highlight in our study have the potential to be used as points-of-intervention for new drugs that are aimed at improving the distribution of body fat and thereby reducing the risk of disease,” Mathias Rask-Andersen noted. (IANS)