A new study suggests that eating fish regularly is not only beneficial to heart health and mood – our eyes may benefit as well.
The authors of the study, which was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, recommend that individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) eat fatty fish at least twice a week in order to slow the progression of their disease. AMD brings about a progressive and sometimes significant loss of central vision, which becomes increasingly blurry. Approximately one out of ten individuals over the age of 75 is estimated to have the condition.
As part of the study, over 3,000 volunteers took vitamin and mineral supplements. The findings showed that the progression of both dry and wet forms of AMD was 25 percent less likely among those eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish like mackerel and salmon are very high in omega-3 fatty acids.
People with advanced AMD who also opted for foods high in complex carbohydrates (whole grains), along with antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements like vitamin C and zinc, appeared to cut their risk of the disease progressing by nearly half. However, the opposite effect seemed to occur in individuals in the early stages of the disease: a progression of the disease was noted in 50 percent of the participants with early AMD who took all the antioxidant vitamins, along with zinc, and who had a high daily intake of beta carotene.
The authors therefore concluded that the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are well established, but that those of vitamin supplements are still uncertain. Before buying vitamin supplements, take a look at the quality of your diet. It is usually preferable, and also more enjoyable, to make better food choices!