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Fish oils can prevent age-related blindness

Fish oils could help prevent age-related blindness

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:18 PM on 23rd July 2009

Age related macular degeneration leads to a loss of central vision (as seen below)

A diet rich in Omega 3 oils can help prevent the leading cause of blindness, scientists have discovered.

The health benefits of eating oily fish like mackerel and tuna such as warding off Alzheimer's disease and maintaining a healthy heart are well-publicised.

But researchers in America have now found Omega 3 fatty acids can also help protect against the loss of vision that develops with age, known as AMD (age-related macular degeneration).

The condition, which affects at least 500,000 people in Britain, usually develops in people over 50.

It results in the loss of central vision making it difficult to read or recognise faces.

A team at the National Eye Institute in Maryland, US, tested the high Omega 3 diet on mice and found those eating more fish oils had lower levels of AMD.

In some mice, the enriched diet even helped improve the condition.

In a report that will appear in the American Journal of Pathology next month, the scientists said: 'The results provide the scientific basis for omega 3 fatty acids in the prevention and treatment of AMD.

'The results in these mice are in line with the studies of AMD risk reduction and we plan to use this model to evaluate other therapies that might delay the development of the disease.'

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