A University of Montreal team looked at a high fat diet and its impact on the bugs in the gut in order to understand why abdominal obesity is a risk factor for developing wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The researchers also discovered that altering the microbes that live naturally in the gut can improve wet AMD – at least in mice.
In one study, researchers took a colony of gut bacteria from mice that were fed a regular-fat diet and transferred these microbes to the gut of mice that were consuming a high-fat diet.
In response, the AMD occurring in the mice on the high-fat diet significantly improved, a finding published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.
Other experiments showed that the bugs in the gut that flourish in a diet with a higher fat content can cause long-term, though “low-grade” inflammation across the whole body, which may contribute to diseases like AMD.
University of Montreal researcher, Professor Przemyslaw Sapieha, highlighted that: “Influencing the types of microbes that reside in your gut either through diet or by some other means may thus affect the chances of developing AMD and the progression of this blinding disease.”