JUL 25, 2011
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
While numerous studies have shown dietary intake of fish, specifically omega-3 fatty acids concentrated in fish, can reduce the risk of advanced AMD, the data for early AMD are more limited and inconsistent. This 10-year prospective study examines the association between omega-3 fatty acids and visually significant AMD in a large cohort of women who did not have AMD at baseline.
The 38,000 female health professionals enrolled in the Women's Health Study completed a food frequency questionnaire at baseline and were then followed for 10 years.
They found that women consuming the highest levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) had a 38 percent reduction in risk of AMD compared to those cosuming the lowest levels, while high consumption of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) carried a 34 percent risk reduction. One or more servings of fish per week, primarily canned tuna fish and dark-meat fishes, reduced risk by 42 percent compared to those who consumed less than one serving per month.
These associations were independent of other AMD risk factors and were not materially altered after adjustment for intake of saturated, monounsaturated, and trans unsaturated fat.
The authors say omega-3 fatty acids likely modulate the inflammatory and immune responses, and conclude that their data appears to be "the strongest evidence to date" to support a role for omega-3 long-chain fatty acids in the primary prevention of AMD, and perhaps the reduction in the number of people with advanced AMD.