Cuts The Risk of Macular Degeneration
By Edward Paul
A regular diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fat from fish appears
to reduce the risk of both early and late age-related macular degeneration
(AMD), according to an Australian study published in the Archives Of Ophthalmology.
Researchers reported a 70% reduction in the risk of developing AMD in
study subjects who ate three or more portions of fish per week. However,
lower weekly consumption was also beneficial with people who ate fish
once a week seeing a 40% reduction in risk.
Scientists made their conclusions after reviewing results of the Blue
Mountains Eye Study. A total of 3,654 people, 49 years or older, participated
in the Blue Mountains Eye Study between 1992 and 1994; 2,335 were reexamined
after five years. Dietary data were collected from 2,895 people at the
beginning of the study by means of a food frequency questionnaire to calculate
dietary fat intakes.
When the researchers calculated in terms of specific types of fats, they
found that people with the lowest dietary intake of mono-unsaturated fatty
acids and omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic
acid, may be at a greater risk of developing AMD.
Curious to find out if the results will hold true over a longer period
of time, researchers will continue to study the same group, stating that
further research using 10-year incident data would “provide greater
study power to investigate any potential protective effects of long-chain
omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids against the development of late AMD.”