Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Omega-3 lowers AMD risk

Women who consume fish regularly -- and the abundance of omega-3 fatty acids -- have a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This latest evidence of a protective link between fish oil and eye health mirrors past research that has found the same benefit.

Harvard researchers performed a dietary analysis on more than 38,000 women. funded partly by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and appears in the Archives of Ophthalmology. All of the participants were in their 40s at the time of enrollment in 1993, and none had AMD at the study's start. Eye health was also tracked over the course of a decade, during which time 235 women developed AMD. Those who consumed the greatest amount of one or both omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA) were found to have a 38 percent lower risk of developing AMD compared with those women who consumed the least. Specifically, women who ate one or more servings of fish every week had a 42 percent lower risk of AMD than those who consumed fish just once a month or less.

The authors uncovered a suggestion that higher consumption of one of the omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) might actually boost the risk for AMD, but that link was not deemed significant.

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