July 27, 2009

Fish Could Save Your Vision

Eat your fish and you may save your sight.  A new study finds a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may help the 10 percent of people 66 to 74 years old who suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Omega-3 fatty acids have already been shown to protect against a plethora of diseases, including atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Chi-Chao Chan at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Md., studied how omega-3 directly affected a mouse model of AMD. The diet high in omega-3 resulted in slower lesion progression and even improved some lesions. The protective affect against AMD can be explained by lower levels of inflammatory molecules and higher levels of anti-inflammatory molecules due to the omega-3.

Dr. Chan believes the results provide the scientific basis for omega-3 fatty acids to effectively protect against AMD and plans to use this model to evaluate additional therapies to aid in the AMD treatment.

AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness among the elderly, making it difficult for them to read or even recognize faces.


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