Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Macular Degeneration

There have been a wide range of medical studies that have indicated that the addition of oily fish in the diet - a good source of the omega 3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - is linked to a decreased likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), an eye condition that results in a loss of vision in the centre of the visual field. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids has been correlated with a reduced progression of early ARMD, and in conjunction with low glycaemic index (GI) foods, with reduced progression of advanced ARMD.

One particular study suggests that the intake of EPA and DHA from fish, 4 or more times per week, may reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration. However, the same study also suggested that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) - an omega-3 found primarily in vegetable oils and products such as seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits and grains - may actually increase the risk of AMD.