This is Part Three of a three-part series on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and its occurrence during the 19th and 20th centuries. We have proven that AMD is a new phenomenon of modernity.
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is confirmed to be a medical rarity from 1851 to 1930, worldwide. By 1920, despite the fact that more than 200 different brands and versions of ophthalmoscopes were in use, no more than about 50 cases of AMD existed in all the world’s literature.
Processed food consumption primarily began in 1880, with the introduction of refined white wheat flour and polyunsaturated vegetable oils that year, and with artificially created trans fats having been produced and introduced to the market by Proctor & Gamble in the form of Crisco. Sugar consumption was on the rise.
These four foods gradually supplanted and replaced traditional foods of our ancestors, such as meats, organ meats (e.g., liver, giblets, heart, pancreas, etc.), fowl, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, such that by 2009, 63% of the American diet was made up of these such foods.1 What followed was an insidious and inexorable progression of chronic metabolic and degenerative diseases, in the form of heart disease, stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autoimmune disorders, etc., and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Detractors of the hypothesis which holds that AMD is a disease of processed food consumption, primarily assert one thing: “We didn’t live long enough, back before 1920, to have as much AMD as we have today.”
In this analysis and review, we’ve shown that to be yet another inchoate and erroneous belief system, that is neither correct nor logical.
The study of life expectancy in England and Wales shows that, even in the late 19thcentury, in 1891, 55% of the population survived to age 60, 43% to age 70, 22% to age 80, and 6% to age 90.
And in 1911, 51% of the population in England and Wales survived to age 70.
England and Wales are quite typical of developed nations, and we should expect much of the developed world was the same.
And as Stephan Guyenet showed, between the years 1822 and 1836, around 25% of an Inuit population survived beyond age 60, if infant mortality was excluded.
I believe we can draw clear conclusions from this analysis millions of people all around the globe lived long enough in the 19th and early 20th centuries to develop macular degeneration (AMD). That is, substantial percentages survived well beyond age 50, in fact, to age 80s and beyond.
The fact that the AMD was an extreme medical rarity between 1851 and 1930, when processed food consumption had recently begun (1880) and was elevating, lends much further support to the hypothesis that AMD is a disease of processed food consumption, just as our supportive data in 25 nations confirms.
This is Part Three of a three-part series.
See Part One here.
Part Two is here.
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