A recent study conducted by researchers at Southampton University found that a diet high in fat can increase a person's risk of going blind later in life.
The study examined the potential link between a diet high in fatty, cholesterol-laden food and age-related macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration can lead to vision loss and is irreversible. There are many risk factors associated with age-related macular degeneration and it affects the central vision. Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are damaged at the onset of the disease, which causes them to be less able to support photoreceptors in the eye. Photoreceptors are the cells in the retina that respond to light. Death of photoreceptors is what causes the vision loss.
Researchers discovered that a high fat diet disrupts the ability of RPE cells to adjust to the changing conditions in the eye as it ages. This can result in long-term retina damage and loss of vision.
Further research will be conducted to determine if the damage to the RPE cells can be reversed by improving the diet.