Glaucoma is a progressive disease in which damage to the cells that transmit visual information to the brain leads to vision loss and, in some cases, blindness.
Higher rates of glaucoma in people with diabetes suggests a potential connection between this eye disease and metabolic stress.
The findings led by Denise Inman from the Northeast Ohio Medical University in the US showed that low carb, high fat diet protects retina cells and their connections to the brain from degeneration.
Switching mice destined to develop glaucoma to a low carbohydrate, high fat diet protects the cells of the retina and their connections to the brain from degeneration.
The results, published in the journal JNeurosci, found that feeding mice, genetically modified to develop glaucoma, a ketogenic diet composed of nearly 90 per cent fat for two months protected retinal cells from degeneration by increasing energy availability.
Although further research into this intervention is required, these findings suggest that a ketogenic diet may help to maintain vision in patients with glaucoma, the researchers said.