Refined Carbohydrates Diet (2006), Cataracts and Macular Degeneration


Learn more about macular degeneration treatment and information and cataracts information.

Since the mid 1990s Research have been indicating that diets high in the complete vitamins, minerals and antioxidant nutrients lower the risk of degenerative eye diseases. Studies additionally suggest an association between consumption of high glycemic carbohydrate foods, cataracts and macular degeneration.

April 2006 Journal of Clinical Nutrition Study

526 participants without a previous macular degeneration diagnosis were included. Long-term dietary information was based on data from an average of 4 food-frequency questionnaires collected over a 10-year period before the assessment of ARMD. Dietary glycemic index (GI), a measure of carbohydrate intake quality, was related to ARMD (specifically to retinal pigmentary abnormalities), whereas total carbohydrate intake was not.

May 2006 Journal of Clinical Nutrition Study

A food-frequency questionnaire was used to obtain dietary information from 3377 participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) focusing on glycemic index and the presence of cortical or nuclear opacities (symptomatic of cataracts). It was found that the patients with the highest dietary intake of high glycemic foods had the highest prevalence opacities. This study was one of a few studies reporting this association in non-diabetic persons and it was the first study that has indicated a solid relationship between dietary GI and the risk of cataracts.


  • Dietary glycemic index and carbohydrate in relation to early age-related macular degeneration. Chiu J, Hubbard L, Armstrong J, et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006 Apr;83(4):880-6
  • Dietary carbohydrate intake and glycemic index in relation to cortical and nuclear lens opacities in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study Chiu J, Milton R, et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006 May;83(5):1177-84.