EFAs Protect Eyes

July 11, 2006

1 Min Read
EFAs Protect Eyes

SYDNEY, Australia & BOSTON--Higher intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) benefits eye health, according to two studies published in the latest Archives of Ophthalmology.

In the first study (124:981-6, 2006), researchers from the University of Sydney reviewed longitudinal associations between dietary fat and incident age-related maculopathy (ARM) from participants in the Australian Blue Mountains Eye Study (1992-1999). A total of 3,654 persons participated in the first segment of the study, with 2,335 of them examined five years after the initial assessment. Participants with the highest vs. lowest quintiles of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat intake had a 60-percent lower risk of incident early ARM. Consuming fish at least once a week dropped the risk by 40 percent, while thrice weekly consumption netted a 75-percent reduction.

The second study (124:995-1001, 2006) used data from the U.S. Twin Study of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) to assess the impact of omega-3 intake, fish consumption and cigarette smoking on incidence of AMD. Researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School, Boston, reviewed data on 222 twins with AMD and 459 twins with no AMD or only early signs. Current smokers had almost twice (1.9-fold) the risk of AMD, while past smokers had a 1.7-fold increased risk. Increased intake of fish and higher intake of omega-3 EFAS were both inversely associated with AMD. Reduction in risk of AMD with higher intake of omega-3 EFAs was seen primarily among subjects with lower intake of omega-6 linoleic acid.

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