Study: Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent AMD


Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent AMD, study says Seniors may be interested in a new study which suggests the onset of the much-feared age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may be delayed or prevented by supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids.

AMD occurs when blood vessels in the center of the retina break down, and is a leading cause of blindness in Americans 60 years of age and older. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects approximately 10 percent of people between the ages of 66 to 74, making it difficult for them to read or even recognize faces.

Scientists from the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, fed mice a diet with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and noted a slower lesion progression as well as improvement in some lesions.

They say the protective effect may have stemmed from the fact that after the supplementation, the animals also had lower levels of inflammatory molecules and higher levels of anti-inflammatory molecules.

The results "further provide the scientific basis for the application of omega-3 fatty acids and their biologically active derivatives in the prevention and treatment of AMD," the researchers concluded in an article published in August 2009 in the American Journal of Pathology.


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