Eye Health - Omega-3 Helps To Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

In a recent issue of “Opthalmology”, published by the American Academy of Opthalmology, there appears a study conducted by the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that is good news for seniors concerned with maintaining eye health. Recent research suggests that large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids have been found in the retina of older people who make it a habit to eat fish and other seafood on a regular basis and that these fatty acids are crucial for maintaining eye health.

It is thought a diet laden with omega-3s is best to combat age-related macular degeneration or AMD in older persons. The particular study is known as the Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study spearheaded by Dr. Sheila K. West.

The study recorded fish and shellfish intake over a period of one year for 2,391 subjects ranging in age from 65 to 84 years old. After the recording period, subjects were tested for AMD presence. 1,942 people with no sign of AMD were grouped as controls, 227 showed minimal AMD progression, and 153 showed intermediate AMD progression, with 68 suffering advanced AMD. Common to the 68 people with an advanced stage of AMD was a diet low in fish and other seafood.

“Our study corroborates earlier findings that eating omega-3-rich fish and shellfish may protect against advanced AMD,” Dr. West said. “While participants in all groups, including controls, averaged at least one serving of fish or shellfish per week, those who had advanced AMD were significantly less likely to consume high omega-3 fish and seafood,” she said.

An interesting point revealed by this research is the fact that many of the study subjects who ate large amounts of fish and other seafood also smoked or were overweight, yet no measurable AMD was present in these subjects over the period of the study.

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