Omega-3 linked to eye health

May 23, 2007 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Omega-3 linked to eye health
Study findings published in the Archives of Ophthalmology suggest that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could cut the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by up to 40 percent.

The study, part of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group assessed over 4,500 individuals between the ages of 60 and 80.  At the start of the study, researchers took photographs of the subjects' retinas to identify any sign of age-related macular degeneration, and assessed diets using a 90 day food frequency questionnaire.

Researchers found that a high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a 39 percent reduction in age-related macular degeneration, while docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was associated with a 46 percent lower risk. 

High fish consumption was also inversely related to developing the disease.

Researchers suggest that omega-3 fatty acids might influence the process involved in the development of blood vessel and nerve-related diseases of the retina.

According to Canada's Food Guide, a serving of fish, including fatty fish high in omega fatty acids, such as salmon is 75 grams (2.5 oz) or ½ cup canned.

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