Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Prevent Vision Loss
Omega 3 fatty acids may be the next super power in the health and nutrition world. Being the anvil of research to find a cure for many an ailment from diabetes, to depression to being a chief component of the brain cells, omega 3 fatty acids are once again in the spotlight for its potential in preventing vision loss- AMD (age-related macular degeneration).
AMD – Prevent vision loss through Omega 3 fatty acids
AMD blurs the central vision, the one, which enables us to read small-print(in telephone books, newspapers), drive, identify faces and other activities, which involve fine-details. The macula present in the retina of the eye is made of millions of light-sensing cells, which are responsible for sharp, detailed, central vision. The retina converts these light signals to electric signals and sends it to the brain, which translates them to the images we see. Any damage to the macula can cause blurring in central vision and precision-sight.
AMD are basically of two types – the wet or the neovascular type and the dry or atrophic with no known viable treatment for the latter.
Age-related macular disorder affects a large number(1.8 million) of the American adult population who are 40 years and older.
Let us see how omega 3 fatty acids can help prevent AMD.
Research on AMD and omega 3 fatty acids
Retrieved from the archives of opthamalogy, were the statistics revealed by Women’s health study, whose target participants were women more than 45 years of age. These women were asked to fill a questionnaire about their diet. Researchers found that after a period of 10 years, 235 women of the 38,000 and odd participants involved were afflicted with AMD. On analyzing their diet during the period, those who had dietary inputs of DHA showed a reduced risk -at least by 38%, of developing the disease. The same results were produced with EPA consumption, with the risk being reduced to 34%.
Both DHA((docosahexaenoic acid)) and EPA((eicosapentaenoic acid) are types of omega 3 fatty acids.
Of course these results have to be reinforced with more detailed and extensive study of AMD and its prospective cure from omega 3 fatty acids to prevent vision loss.
Omega 3 fatty acids – the chain from infants to adults
Breast milk is naturally supplemented with omega 3 fatty acids and, many nutritive supplements meant for infants have these fatty acids EPA and DHA in their composition.
According to the journal Pediatrics, clinical studies and research shows that amongst a group of preterm babies those on omega 3 fatty acids supplement formulas showed better acuity in vision during 2-4 months of age, compared to those who were not given the supplements.
In adults, apart from keeping dry eye syndrome, glaucoma and high-eye pressure at bay, these fatty acids also show great potential in combating macular degeneration.
Recommended dietary input and natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids
Some of the natural sources high in omega 3 fatty acids include: salmon, flaxseeds and walnuts are excellent sources of the fats; followed by scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds; with halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts finishing a close third in the rating of this valuable fat-content.
As the long chain of omega 3 fatty acids links to a high health potential; further research to prevent vision loss and preserve eyesight with age, can be an eye-opener on the “Omega” health benefits of the fatty acid.