Eye Health News

Macular Degeneration may Start in Gut

Researchers at the University of Montreal examined how bacterial flora in the intestinal tract may influence the risk of developing the wet (neovascular) form of macular degeneration. Wet AMD is characterize by the formation and leakage of new and weak blood vessels in the eye. Obesity is one of the five most common factors related to developing macular degeneration according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Researchers used two sets of lab mice that were raised on two different diets starting at the age of 6 weeks. One set had a high-fat diet and one set had a regular-chow diet. The mice that were raised on the high-fat diet had a lower ratio of gut microbiomes than their lower fat counterparts. Researchers found that the high-fat diet mice also had greater systemic inflammation. The study findings revealed that the microbiomes found in the high-fat mice can affect the retinal immune system and result in the abnormal development of blood vessels.*

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