Ocular disease

The Problem
The primary ocular disease associated with aging is age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  When you begin to develop AMD, you begin to lose your central vision in the retina.  You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral vision can still be normal. Nonetheless, as your central vision decreases to the extent you are likely to become legally blind.  AMD is the primary cause of blindness after age 50. 

The Traditional Medical Approach
There are two types of AMD: wet and dry.  Wet AMD accounts for only 10% of AMD cases, and its progression can be minimized by injections of monoclonal antibodies indirectly into the eye. However, the condition rarely improves, and once the monthly injections are stopped, the progression of the disease continues, leading to functional blindness.  The other type of AMD is known as dry AMD, which accounts for 90 percent of the cases of AMD.  There is no drug treatment for dry AMD.

The Metabolic Engineering™ Approach
AMD is strongly associated with insulin resistance and cellular senescence (1,2).  Both conditions are associated with decreased AMPK activity.   

The goal of Metabolic Engineering™ is to activate AMPK in every organ, including the eye.  Using the Zone diet component of Metabolic Engineering™ to restrict calories without hunger or fatigue is the most powerful dietary approach for increasing AMPK activity.  The omega-3 fatty acid dietary component of Metabolic Engineering™ reduces inflammation and promotes its resolution.  The polyphenol dietary component of Metabolic Engineering™ reduces oxidative stress.  Equally important is that the omega-3 fatty acid and polyphenol components of Metabolic Engineering™ are also indirect activators of AMPK activity.   Thus, combining all three dietary interventions in Metabolic Engineering™ provides the optimal dietary approach to maximizing AMPK activity to metabolize stored excess body fat for energy. 

A preliminary trial has demonstrated that high-dose omega-3 fatty acids per day significantly improve vision in patients with dry AMD (3).  This clinical result suggests that  Metabolic Engineering™ with adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids may significantly reduce insulin resistance and cellular senescence in the retina by increasing AMPK activity. 

1. Roddy GW.Metabolic syndrome and the aging retina.  Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2021; 32: 280-287. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000747.

2. Lee KS, Lin S, Copland DA, Dick AD, Liu J.Cellular senescence in the aging retina and developments of senotherapies for age-related macular degeneration.J Neuroinflammation. 2021; 18: 32. doi: 10.1186/s12974-021-02088-0.

3. Georgiou T, Neokleous A, Nicolaou D, Sears B.Pilot study for treating dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with high-dose omega-3 fatty acids, PharmaNutrition 2014 2:8-11. doi.org/10.1016/j.phanu.2013.10.001.