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Blog: Longevity - Make the choice to live better
by mo123

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More evidence fish oil protects the eyes

Eye problems are everywhere and we should all look to protect them as much as possible. In Jordan especially it is prevalent.

Date:   6/15/2009 8:05:18 AM   ( 5 y ) ... viewed 1031 times

More evidence fish oil protects the eyes

People with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) should eat oily fish at least twice a week to keep their eye disease at bay, say scientists. Omega-3 fatty acids found in abundance in fish like mackerel and salmon appear to slow or even halt the progress of both early and late stage macular degeneration. The researchers base their findings on almost 3,000 people taking part in a trial of vitamins and supplements. The findings are published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

An estimated 500,000 people in the UK suffer from AMD, which destroys central vision. Experts have already suggested omega-3 may cut the risk of getting AMD by a third, and now this latest work suggests these fats also benefit patients who already have the disease.

These findings appear to be consistent with previous research that has shown that eating omega 3 poly-unsaturated fats as part of a balanced diet may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration.


Information from Dr. Cinque's newsletter
Progression to both dry and wet forms of advanced AMD disease was 25 percent less likely among those eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. People with advanced AMD who also consumed a low-glycemic diet, eating of foods that release their sugar more slowly, and who took supplemental antioxidant vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and zinc appeared to reduce their risk of disease progression by even more - by up to 50 percent.

Substituting five slices of wholegrain bread for white bread every day out of a total intake of 250g of carbohydrate might cut out almost 8 percent of advanced age related macular degeneration over five years, say the authors.

The researchers at Tufts University, Boston, believe omega-3 fatty acids offer protection against AMD by altering fat levels in the blood after a meal that can be damaging to the body. They suggest that eating two to three servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, shellfish, and herring every week, would achieve the recommended daily intake (650mg) of omega-3, substantially cutting the risk of both early and late stage AMD.

The UK's Food Standards Agency says people should eat at least two portions of fish a week including one of oily fish. But they caution that too much oily fish is bad because it can contain low levels of pollutants that can build up in the body. Most people can safely eat up to four portions a week, but girls and women who might have a baby and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should limit their intake to two portions a week.

"These findings appear to be consistent with previous research that has shown that eating omega-3 poly-unsaturated fats as part of a balanced diet may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration, the main cause of severe sight loss in the UK.

"RNIB hopes that this will further highlight why looking after your eyes should be a key motivation in maintaining a healthy lifestyle," she said.

Dr. Cinque's comments: For those that do not want to take fish oil, there are all-vegetarian DHA supplements that are derived from algae, which is the original source of DHA. Algae is at the bottom of the food chain in the ocean, and fish have the ability to concentrate the DHA formed by algae. However, companies have also figured out how to concentrate the DHA from algae, and there are now algae supplements with as high as 200 mgs DHA per capsule. However, there is no EPA- the other long chain omega 3 fatty acid. I still take Nordic Naturals ProOmega which has a total of more than 600 mgs omega-3 per capsule, dervied from very small fish: sardines and anchoves. And it's actually not fishy at all, and there is no burping of fish from it either. But for those who would rather not consume fish in any form, I think it would be a very good thing for them to take an algae-derived DHA supplement- and that's true whether or not they also consume flaxseed.

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