Eating fish once per week helps protect the eyes

July 20, 2010 in Nutrition for Older Adults, Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating fish once per week helps protect the eyes
A new study has found that older adults who eat fatty fish at least once a week may have a lower risk of serious vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The new findings, published in the journal Ophthalmology add to evidence that shows fish eaters tend to have lower rates of AMD than people who eat fish less often.

They also support the theory that omega-3 fatty acids, found most abundantly in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna, may affect the development or progression of AMD.

AMD is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth behind the retina or breakdown of light-sensitive cells within the retina itself, both of which can cause serious vision impairment.

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in older adults.

For the study, researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore analyzed data from more than 2,500 adults aged 65 to 84 who underwent eye exams and completed detailed dietary questionnaires.

Fifteen percent were found to have early, or intermediate-stage AMD, while just under 3 percent were in the advanced stage of the disease.

Researchers found a connection between higher intakes of omega-3-rich fish and the odds of advanced AMD.

Study participants who ate one or more servings of such fish each week were 60 percent less likely to have advanced AMD than those who averaged less than a serving per week.

Canada's Food Guide recommends that adults eat at least two servings of fish each week, including herring, trout, salmon, mackerel and sardines.

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