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: US health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why your laptop battery won't kill you

1 hour ago

News on Tuesday that major U.S. airlines are no longer going to ship powerful lithium-ion batteries might lead some to fret about the safety of their personal electronic devices.

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

1 hour ago

Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are ...

Lightning plus volcanic ash make glass

1 hour ago

In their open-access paper for Geology, Kimberly Genareau and colleagues propose, for the first time, a mechanism for the generation of glass spherules in geologic deposits through the occurrence of volcan ...

Recommended for you

Twitter helps smokers kick the habit, study finds

55 minutes ago

When subjects in a smoking cessation program tweet each other regularly, they're more successful at kicking the habit, according to a study by UC Irvine and Stanford University researchers. Specifically, ...

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.