March 21, 2011

Save Your Eyesight with Omega-3

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Women who consume fish and Omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

About 9 million adults in the United States age 40 years and older show signs of macular degeneration, according to the authors of the study. About 7.3 million people have early age-related macular degeneration.

Researchers collected data on 38,022 women who had not been diagnosed with AMD. The women were asked about their eating habits and intake of specific fatty acids. During 10 years of follow-up, investigators tracked the women's eye health.

During the follow-up, 235 cases of AMD were reported. Results showed women who consumed the most docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) had a 38-percent lower risk of developing AMD compared with women who consumed the lowest amount of DHA. Similar results were found in those who consumed more eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish.

The investigators also found consumption of one or more servings of fish per week was associated with a 42-percent lower risk of AMD when compared to consumption of less than one serving per month.

"In summary, these prospective data from a large population of women with no prior diagnosis of AMD indicate that regular consumption of DHA and EPA and fish significantly reduced the risk of incident AMD," the study authors write.

SOURCE: Archives of Ophthalmology, March 14, 2011