Researchers have discovered that oily fish can help to reduce the risk of going blind in old age. Oily fish is high in Omega 3 fatty acids and other healthy oils and these help protect the eyes from age related macular degeneration (AMD).
The best sources of Omega 3 are salmon, tuna and mackerel. In addition to fish, olive oil and some nuts also contain adequate levels of omega 3 to help keep our eyes healthy into old age.
The research was published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in 2009. One of the researchers was John Paul SanGiovanni, a staff scientist with the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. The study was based on data collected over a 12 year period.
AMD is the biggest cause of blindness in people over 65 years of age. The main risk factors are age, smoking and genetics. The relationship with oil fish is the first dietary factor that can help prevent AMD.
Similar research was carried out in Australian and the results agreed with the Maryland scientific discoveries. Dr. Jennifer S. L. Tan and colleagues from the University of Sydney found that people who ate oil fish were 31 less likely to develop AMD and eating nuts twice a week reduced AMD risk by 35%.
It is thought that the key to fighting AMD is to avoid inflammation. Inflammation is the cause of many health problems, especially heart disease. Really diet is the key to good health.
“I recommend to my patients that they consume a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fish, especially salmon, sardines and mackerel, as well as nuts and green, leafy vegetables. Those not able to consume these foods should consider taking supplements containing fish oil or lutein.” Johanna Seddon, M.D., of the New England Eye Center and Tufts University School of Medicine.
Johanna Seddon’s research department has been aware of the connection between oil fish, or specifically Omega 3 fatty acids and DMA since 1994.
ω-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake Inversely Associated With 12-Year Progression to Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration by John Paul SanGiovanni, ScD; Elvira Agrón, MA; Traci E. Clemons, PhD; Emily Y. Chew, MD. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(1):109-116. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2008.518.