How's your carb intake?
The RDA for daily carbohydrate intake for adults
and children is 130 grams. To get a personalized audit of your daily
carbohydrate intake, go to MyPyramidTracker, key in the
foods you've eaten during the course of a day, and you'll get a free analysis
and printout at the click of a button.
High Carb Diet May Cloud Vision Over Time
By Rosalie Marion
June 30, 2005
Scientists funded by the Agricultural
Research Service (ARS) in Boston, Mass.,
have found that the higher the carbohydrate intake, the higher the odds of
developing a certain type of cataract among a group of women aged 53 to 73
years. When damaged proteins gather within one or both of the eye lenses, the
resulting area that becomes cloudy, or opaque, is called cataract.
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, and about 20 million
Americans older than 40 have it. The study was led by Chung-Jung Chiu and
Taylor at the
Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston and is part
of the Nutrition and Vision Project, a substudy of the federally funded
Nurses' Health Study.
The women in the study whose average carbohydrate intake was between 200 and
268 grams per day were 2.5 times more likely to get cortical cataracts than the
women whose intake was between 101 and 185 grams per day. The recommended
dietary allowance for daily carbohydrate intake for adults and children is 130
grams, which is based on how much glucose the brain needs.
Cortical cataract is one of three distinguishable types of cataracts.
Carbohydrates are mainly sugars and starches that the body breaks down into
glucose, a simple sugar that feeds the body's cells. The potentially harmful
effect of high-carbohydrate diets on the lens could be a result of increased
exposure of normal lens proteins to glucose.
The scientists studied 417 women without a history of cataracts who had
participated in the Nurses' Health Study. The researchers conducted eye exams
and studied dietary data taken from questionnaires to assess the relationship
between volunteers' newly diagnosed cataracts and their average carbohydrate
intake over a 14-year period.
The degree to which these findings could be generalized to men and other age
groups is unknown. But the mechanisms underlying cataract development have not
been known to vary by sex or socioeconomic status.
The study was published in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. ARS
is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
chief scientific research agency.