The SAD and myopia

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 11, 2010 at 3:16 AM

I stumbled upon some really interesting thoughts about the rise of myopia a few months ago. The blogs I read stated that poor vision was never a part of human history, and that people only began having serious eye problems within the last few hundred years, and at accelerated rates. These authors then asserted that insulin-like growth factor-1 is integral in the formation of the eye, so chronically elevated insulin levels (and thus IGF-1 levels) during eyeball development leads to eyeball deformation. Which is why we have such problems with children and eyesight these days. As someone with 20/900 vision, this struck a chord with me.

These blogs also stated that this idea was fairly basic, and that it's probably well accepted in optometric circles, but since optometry and nutrition don't overlap, no one's raised much of a fuss about it. However, the blogs NEVER linked to an academic study.

So this is a cool idea, and it makes inherent sense, but I have no hard scientific mechanism or data to back it up. I also have a friend asking about this idea and whether there's any data out there, and also if I could refer him to what I had read. However, I don't know if the data is out there, and don't remember where I read any of this. Perhaps most importantly, I don't know if the physiological argument is a good one or not.

Does anyone have training in optometry and could comment on the plausibility of these claims? Or perhaps you've read similar things and could point me back to the websites or to some hard data?

Thanks so much--



on October 12, 2010
at 10:45 PM

thank you so much Richard! This is perfect.


on October 11, 2010
at 04:17 AM

Heh - the title had me thinking that you were going to be asking about modern society's myopia with respect to our diet and health issues. But of course you were being literal! Guess that means I need to get some sleep. :)



on October 11, 2010
at 03:30 AM

Yeah, I've read that too but same as you, no research to back it up was listed. Interesting though. It makes sense to me that our eyes were not designed to quickly become defective.

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on October 11, 2010
at 10:34 PM

The paper linking myopia and diet was Cordain L, Eaton SB, Brand Miller J, Lindeberg S, Jensen C (2002). An evolutionary analysis of the etiology and pathogenesis of juvenile-onset myopia. Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 80: 125-35 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1034/j.1600-0420.2002.800203.x/pdf

He wrote another paper implicating the same thing (chronic hyperinsulinaemia) in various other health maladies: Cordain L, Eades MR, Eades MD.(2003) Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X. Comp Biochem Physiol 2003 Sep;136(1):95-112. (Link on the paleodiet web site) http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles/Hyperinsulinemic%20Diseases%20Final.pdf

You are right - there are no corroborating studies for myopia. At this time the idea makes sense, but no one has actually studied it clinically. So we can't say we have evidence. However, the wisdom of reducing the carbo load of most people is such that I still recommend it to patients, with the caveat that we have no actual proof for myopia.

You can get a lot more info about myopia research on my website: http://www.MyopiaPrevention.org. Over 100 references.

Richard L. Anderson, O.D. (optometrist)



on October 12, 2010
at 10:45 PM

thank you so much Richard! This is perfect.



on March 30, 2011
at 07:30 AM

I've heard that myopia has to deal with a few things, although that tidbit about insulin is very interesting.

I've heard that eyesight troubles themselves really began to arise according to region, like the asian adaption to dusty countryside over time is reportedly to have larger eyelids than other human races. Also, that it's a side effect of constant exposure to high pressure environments. I haven't read whether that is a temporary effect though. There are also some varied implications (that is no structured research but indications that seem fluent together) that light exposure of various types can cause such a condition, with a particular regard to hydration levels.

on google books, fundamentas of tissue engineering seems to suggest that insulin factor's are more considerable in tissue generation that is synthetic. and i got as much from a documentary on stem cell research although discovery channel tends to leave as much to be discovered as is forwardly stated...i spend too much time in front of idiot boxes (like this one) anywho....tasteless, I know.

i did a little further reading and eye tissue is surrounded by adipose tissue,which the aforementioned writing on google books says that there are some molecular shaping effects regarding insulin and adipose tissue. wikipedia mentions the same, under histology considerations of adipose tissue and histology is then body pressure (william james called it volition).

I guess my question then is whether or not myopia as a mishappening is similar in consideration to inflamation seen in the other organs since histology seems reay considered with inflammation, probably in all the organs, but as I've read only in the pancreas and spleen. it doesn't make sense to minimize a body function though.

there might be some good explanations in why vision excitations increase or diminish during various insulin or maybe glucose related shock states in that too because the eye is apparently a sustained entity of an organ, meaning it has a high response that was worded as 'conscious' versus saying the eye is just a portioned organ or structure of homeostability in animals and so on. so maybe adipose tissue response to insulin is like an allergy. ehow has an entry on that as well, but i'm wary of ehow on this computer. as a last comment, that bit about the eye being conscious was read from a wikipedia entry. scratch that, it wasn't in the wikipedia on the eye, the only recollection of the search from a week passed or so, that i have is that it was in regard to eye responses to color.

i also found another google book entry about pthisis (morbid anatomy), which is shrinking of the eye due to loss of fluid and that might have some bearing as evidence, on myopia and hydration levels. i can only suggest so in seeing that myopia is referenced with regard to pthisis in the search results, although the print on the book is relatively small so I'm not skimming it..

to quote: [pthisis] is admirably compact, plain, and useful, especially the paragrapbs on the treatment of preshyopia and myopia...

that publication is called pthisis; it's morbid anatomy, etiology, symptomatic... by an austin flint.

if you know about masking, as a literary phenomena (combining phonetic sounds of words together vs. agglutinative syntax that is based on character position that might not have a fluent syllable), then the title as it posted suggests pthisis (this is a histological phenomenon..); it's more than anatomy, it branches into the study of physics...physics and opthalmology, physiology. It can be a tough trick to use when reading older literature or literature that is edited (like those from orginizations), but that's what I grasped from this title.

Thanks for this interesting post very much.



on October 11, 2010
at 03:42 PM

My eye doctor thinks that myopia is an adaptation found in ancient literal cultures, for close-up writing. That adaptation went out of whack somewhat.

Dr. Loren Cordain wrote an article about possible dietary causes. A hybrid is also possible.



on December 25, 2011
at 09:42 PM

Perhaps another potential cause of myopia is inadequate dopamine.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19901858 Levodopa inhibits the development of form-deprivation myopia in guinea pigs

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC286542/ Retinal dopamine and form-deprivation myopia.


on October 11, 2010
at 06:16 AM

This is somewhat similar to a question of wider scope a while back - I posted my experience with improvement in my myopia there: http://paleohacks.com/questions/6984/experience-in-healing-eyesight-on-the-paleo-diet



on October 11, 2010
at 04:47 AM

The article you read might have been Barry Groves Phd Second Opinions website



on December 26, 2011
at 05:17 PM

I think it's relevant that I can see distance objects just fine when I wake up but after several hours of watching TV, reading, etc., I can only see close up.

I'm not saying we shouldn't look at diet, but back when "poor vision wasn't part of our history" most people couldn't read and based on what I've read mature women who did fine work such as embroidery DID become near-sighted and so did men who worked on watches, etc. You can't help noticing how many characters were regarded with suspicion because of squinting. It was plain old near-sightedness but many people didn't understand because they weren't doing enough close-up work to develop the problem.

I think being near-sighted has been around a long time--those who over-use the ability to see up close and don't balance it out with enough distance viewing "train" their eyes to specialize.

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on December 26, 2011
at 05:04 PM

What problems, exactly, with children and eyesight, "these days"?

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