Omega 3s may reduce vision loss

A new study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science shows that DHA — an Omega 3 fatty acid found in fish — can help prevent and reduce the vision loss that comes with aging.

Age-related vision loss is the main cause of blindness in people over 50 and affects 1 in 10 people over the age of 65. That number jumps to 1 in 4 for the 75+ population.

This kind of vision loss occurs because of a build-up of the toxic substance lipofuscin, which occurs naturally in the body over time.

Researcher Dr. Yves Sauve at the University of Alberta led the study, performing trials on patients with macular degeneration — a condition that causes the loss of central vision and blindness in the 50+ population.

The trials found that those with the highest levels of DHA in their body had the slowest progression and lowest severity of macular degeneration.

Suave recommends everyone to increase their DHA intake through consuming oily fish such as salmon or taking fish oil capsules with each meal. For those who are vegetarians, micro algae alternatives are also available at health food stores.

North Americans are highly deficient in Omega 3s, primarily because the western diet is so high in processed foods that contain Omega 6 fatty acids. The ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in the bloodstream of many patients used in the study was as high as 15 to 1, when it should be 1 to 1.

Another study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine showed that Omega 3s can also help prevent retinopathy, which can cause abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina.

Retinopathy is a disease that leads to blindness in people with diabetes as well as premature babies. More than half the people who have diabetes for 25 years or more will end up with retinopathy.

In their trial, feeding mice a diet high in Omega 3s created a sub product called 4-HDHA that prevents disease formation.

Omega 3s have proven to be beneficial in a variety of ways that go beyond eye health:

– They make your immune system stronger, and lower risk of breast and prostate cancer.

– They help with joints and arthritis by reducing inflammation and pain.

– They improve the appearance of skin, as well as keeping hair and nails healthy and strong.

– They lower bad cholesterol, reducing the risk for arrhythmias and death by heart attack.

-They increase brain function, improve mood and help with depression.

Sources: Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science, Science Translational Medicine, Eyelove, Toronto Sun

Photo © Bailey

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