Dietary fats may alter glaucoma risk

June 30, 2004 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Dietary fats may alter glaucoma risk

A diet high in omega-6 fats (found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils) and low in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats (found in oily fish, flax and canola oils) may offer some protection against developing glaucoma, data from two large studies suggest.

Harvard University researchers examined dietary fat intake in relation to glaucoma in 76,000 women participating in the Nurses' Health Study and 40,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The participants were free of glaucoma when the studies began in the 1980s, and they were followed for at least 10 years

The researchers found that there was a "suggestive" association between a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 polyunsaturated fat and so-called primary open-angle glaucoma, especially for the subtype of the disorder in which pressure inside the eye is elevated.

Because this is the first examination of this relation, further studies are needed to corroborate these findings, the researchers concluded.

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