Eating fish and foods with omega-3 fatty acids linked to lower risk of age-related eye disease

Jun 09, 2008

Eating fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids is associated with reduced risk of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a meta-analysis of nine previously published studies in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology. However, the accumulated evidence includes few clinical trials and is insufficient to support the routine consumption of such foods for AMD prevention, the authors note.

"Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss among elderly people," they write as background information in the article. New treatments for AMD are potentially risky and treat only certain forms of the disease. "Thus, primary prevention of AMD by modifying risk factors (e.g., cigarette smoking) remains an important public health strategy."

Elaine W-T. Chong, M.B.B.S., of the University of Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies published before May 2007 evaluating the fish consumption and overall omega-3 fatty acid intake for the prevention of AMD. A total of nine studies were identified with 88,974 participants, including 3,203 individuals with AMD.

When results from all nine studies were combined, a high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a 38 percent reduction in the risk of late (more advanced) AMD, while eating fish twice a week was associated with a reduced risk of both early and late AMD.

"Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid in particular, form an integral part of the neural retina," the layer of nerve cells in the retina, the authors write. Outer cells of the retina are continually shed and regenerated, and deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids may therefore initiate AMD. "A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fish, as a proxy for long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake, has therefore been hypothesized as a means to prevent AMD."

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: 'Tis the season to overeat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

As dust clears, what's next for Sony?

6 hours ago

The Sony hacking attack continues to deliver more dramatic plotlines than any fictional movie, but meanwhile the movie studio must move forward and tackle the next steps in minimizing the mess. Will Sony ...

Recommended for you

'Tis the season to overeat

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Overeating is common during the holidays, but there are strategies that can help you eat in moderation, an expert says.

Don't let burns mar your holidays

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The risk of burns from fires and cooking accidents increases during the holidays, so you need to be extra cautious, an expert says.

Irish court mulls rights of dead woman vs. fetus

Dec 24, 2014

A lawyer representing a 17-week-old fetus living inside the clinically dead body of its mother told a Dublin court Wednesday that the unborn child's right to life trumps the woman's right to a dignified death.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.