April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Pigmentary Dispersion Glaucoma May Be Promoted in Athletic Adults By Excessive Use of Denatured Mega-Protein Supplements Lacking Vitamin B6 and Other Nutrients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Benjamin C. Lane
    Nutritional Optometry Inst, Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
  • Karan R. Aggarwala
    Nutritional Optometry Inst, Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Benjamin C. Lane, None; Karan R. Aggarwala, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 5068. doi:
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      Benjamin C. Lane, Karan R. Aggarwala; Pigmentary Dispersion Glaucoma May Be Promoted in Athletic Adults By Excessive Use of Denatured Mega-Protein Supplements Lacking Vitamin B6 and Other Nutrients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5068.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To investigate the importance of the observation of the association of a high incidence of routine ingestion of mega-protein supplements in adult athletes who present with pigmentary dispersion glaucoma (PDG) and the putative importance of vitamin B6 taken with otherwise denatured protein supplements.

Methods: : As part of a large open-panel study of patients, we selected without bias 17 consecutive patients with PDG as cases, and glaucoma-free patients in the same age range of 28 through 50 years old as controls, as long as we also had intake assessments of protein, vitamin B6, and Erythrocyte Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase (EGOT) for a functional assessment of adequacy of vitamin B6 as suggested in red blood cells or at least information as to routine intake of denatured megadoses of protein supplements not augmented with vitamin B6.

Results: : "Protein Intake" in Ratio to "Protein RDA" is 3.1 +/- 1.2 for PDG cases as compared to 1.35 +/- 0.51 for controls. The Student's t-Test yields p=0.001, inferring that the means are significantly different, and it is clear that the distributions are quite different. Some PDG cases are currently ingesting B6, but often not at the time of taking the mega-protein supplement.

Conclusions: : It appears that remodeling of the iris is adversely affected by excessive intake of denatured protein supplements that provide protein but do not provide the vitamin B6 and folate and other nutrients essential for metabolizing the protein. One hypothesis is that without vitamin B6 present in the small intestines when amino acids from the diet are presented for uptake, the transaminase enzymes are unable to convert the amino acids presented by the diet to the amino acids required for remodeling special tissues, such as for iris pigment. While the effect we are finding appears to be a highly significant factor and indicator, it is important to note that denatured protein deficient in B6 and other nutrients, especially folic acid and vitamin B12, become deficit-inducing for these nutrients. They all may be complicit in affecting the quality of the iris pigmentation, especially considering genetic predispositions. PDG occurred in the past without megadosing denatured protein. Now we appear to be witnessing an epidemic of PDG in young adult athletes gorging on putative muscle-building protein.

Keywords: nutritional factors • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: risk factor assessment • iris 

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