Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD: Fish Consumption May Prevent Macular Degeneration

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Fish Consumption May Prevent Macular Degeneration

Last Updated: December 03, 2010.

Eating fish and shellfish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may protect against age-related macular degeneration, according to a report published in the December issue of Ophthalmology.

FRIDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Eating fish and shellfish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a report published in the December issue of Ophthalmology.

Bonnielin K. Swenor, M.P.H., of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using dietary and ophthalmologic data from more than 2,000 participants of the Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study. The participants included non-institutionalized individuals, aged 65 to 84 years, living in Salisbury, Md., between 1993 and 1995. The participants answered questionnaires addressing the type and frequency of their fish/shellfish consumption and were later evaluated for AMD.

The participants were divided into subcategories based on AMD risk: those with no AMD, early AMD, intermediate-stage disease, and advanced AMD. The researchers found that the weekly fish/shellfish consumption was not statistically different among AMD categories; all participants consumed approximately 1.1 servings per week. They did observe, however, a significant protective effect between intake of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and advanced AMD. They found no relationship between AMD and intake of crabs and oysters -- which have high zinc levels -- combined.

"In conclusion, our results suggest a protective effect of selective fish and shellfish intake against the risk of advanced AMD, most likely because of their omega-3 fatty acid content," the authors write.

A co-author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and vision device companies.


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