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Polyunsaturated fatty acids and diabetic retinopathy.
  1. J Howard-Williams,
  2. P Patel,
  3. R Jelfs,
  4. R D Carter,
  5. P Awdry,
  6. A Bron,
  7. J I Mann and
  8. T D Hockaday


    One hundred and forty nine diabetic patients were ophthalmologically assessed seven years after randomisation to a low carbohydrate or modified fat diet (rich in linoleic acid). Glycaemic control, regardless of the type of diet, was a major determinant of the development of retinopathy. Poorly controlled patients (haemoglobin A1c greater than 8%) with low levels of linoleic acid in cholesterol ester had a significantly greater frequency of retinopathy than well controlled patients or patients with similarly unsatisfactory control but higher levels of linoleic acid. The findings support an earlier suggestion that linoleic acid might protect against diabetic retinopathy.

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