Taurine rich diet key to preventing vision loss among epileptic kids

February 24th, 2009 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 24 (IANS) A taurine rich diet, including lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs, is the key to curbing the ill effects of a drug Vigabatrin or Sabril, used in treating epilepsy among kids that can culminate in vision loss.
Serge Picaud, who heads the research at Inserm (Institut national de la sante et de la recherche medicale), France and colleagues of the Institut de la Vision have just discovered the origin of this secondary effect and have proposed strategies for limiting it.

They have shown that Vigabatrin provokes a marked decrease in the blood level in an amino acid, taurine, resulting in a degeneration of the retina cells induced by light.

Researchers suggest that exposure to light should be reduced and a taurine-rich diet (lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs and other protein rich food) introduced in order to curb immediately these secondary effects in children undergoing treatment.

As for the validation of an alternative treatment associating Vigabatrin and taurine, this will necessitate several years of development.

Exciting new research findings are revealing that taking in extra amounts of taurine in supplement form may provide many health-related benefits. Researchers believe that its therapeutic actions result mainly from the fact that it is a potent antioxidant.

The researchers also emphasise that any taurine supplementation must be subject to medical advice, said an Inserm release.

This work is published in the review Annals of Neurology.

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