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Lower glycemic index diet may delay onset of AMD-like lesions

June 30, 2017

The research, published online in October in the journal Aging Cell traces the drop-off in AGE accumulation in the lower GI diet to the ubiquitin-protease system pathway and the lysosome/autophagy pathway. "In cell models we saw that both the ubiquitin pathways and lysosome pathways processed proteins more efficiently and kept cells healthier when glucose levels were lower," says Taylor, who is also a professor at the Friedman School and Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM). "Both pathways are well-known for their ability to remove damage from cells, but this had not been previously systematically explored for removal of AGEs."

The Centers for Disease Control reports AMD is the chief cause of irreparable vision loss in Americans over age 65 and that 1.8 million people in the U.S. are living with the disease, a number that is expected to approach 3 million by 2020.

"Although our laboratory has shown in epidemiological studies and now in a live laboratory model that lower GI diets may prevent or delay the progression of AMD, future studies are needed. Trials involving more animals and human clinical trials could more carefully describe the protein-editing machinery that appeared to determine the development and severity of the lesions we saw," Taylor says. "With such information, we may begin to develop cost-effective dietary interventions as well as a new generation of drugs that mimic the presumed effects of the lower GI diet to prolong vision."

Source: Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus