A new study has added to the quickly accumulating body of evidence which shows consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, or appropriate supplementation, can help prevent vision loss.
Tufts University researchers conducted a study which found omega-3 play an important role in slowing down or preventing progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
However, the outcomes depend on the stage of disease and the intake of other supplements.
The researchers looked at the consumption of DHA and EPA of 2,924 people, aged 55 to 80 years, recorded in a previous study. Then they randomly assigned them to receive a placebo or supplements containing vitamins C, E and beta carotene or minerals zinc and copper, or a combination of both, while on a diet high in omega-3.
They found that for those in the advanced stages of the disease, the antioxidant supplements did not interfere with the protective effects of DHA and EPA against progression of the disease.
Dr Chung-Jung Chiu, an assistant professor at TUSM, says the study also revealed the supplements and omega-3 work together with low-glycemic index diets against progression to advanced AMD.
AMD occurs when blood vessels in the center of the retina break down. The National Health Institutes estimates it is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older and affects some 10 percent of people between the ages of 66 to 74.