There are things you can do to help keep your eyes healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Read this article on studies that suggest omega-3 fatty acids may help protect your eyes by www.allaboutvision.com
In adult eyes, studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids may help protect from macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome & glaucoma. Omega-3s come in three forms: ALA, DHA and EPA. Studies suggest that our eyes may benefit most
from a diet high in fish-friendly EPA and DHA — especially DHA.
In one study, participants who ate oily fish — a great source of DHA and EPA — atleast once per week had half the risk of developing wet macular degeneration, compared to those who ate fish less than once per week. Macular degeneration is a condition that causes gradual vision loss in the center of your field of view.
A National Eye Institute study, which used data from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), found that the participants who reported the highest level of omega- 3 fatty acids in their diet were 30% less likely than their peers to develop macular degeneration over a 12-year period.
In 2013, the Institute published results of a follow-up to the original AREDS study called AREDS2. The study surprisingly showed that participants who supplemented their diet with 1,000 mg of omega-3s daily (350 mg DHA, 650 mg EPA) did not show a lower risk for macular degeneration over five years.
Omega-3 has also been found to reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome.
In a study of more than 32,000 women between the ages of 45 and 84, those with the highest ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s in their diet (15-to-1 ratio) had a significantly higher risk of developing dry eye syndrome, compared with the women with the lowest ratio (4-to-1 ratio or less).
The study also found that the women who ate at least two servings of tuna per week had far less risk of dry eye than women who ate one or fewer servings per week. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help treat dry eyes. In a study of mice, direct application of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA led to fewer dry eye signs and less inflammation associated with dry eye.
Essential fatty acids may also help the fluid inside the eye drain properly and lower the risk of glaucoma, which can happen when inner eye pressure is too high. During one study, rats were fed a combination of safflower, flaxseed and tuna oils — all high in omega-3s. The results showed that the diet helped regulate the outflow of the eye’s inner fluid, a critical part of preventing high eye pressure and, eventually, glaucoma.
Interestingly, results in rats that were fed only safflower oil (high in ALA, but not EPA or DHA) weren’t nearly as positive as the results in rats that were also fed flaxseed and tuna oil — a combination that’s high in all three types of omega-3.
Omega-3s and vision development in babies
Several clinical studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal infant vision development. According to a Pediatrics journal analysis of studies conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, the authors found that healthy preterm infants who were fed DHA-supplemented formula showed significantly better visual acuity (sharpness) at 2 and 4 months of age, when compared with similar infants who were fed formula
without the omega-3 supplement.
Adequate amounts of DHA and other omega-3s in the diet of pregnant women also appear to be important in normal infant vision development. In another study, Canadian researchers found that infant girls whose mothers
received DHA supplements from their fourth month of pregnancy until delivery were less likely to have below-average visual sharpness at 2 months of age, compared to infant girls whose mothers did not receive the omega-3 supplements.
The Norwegian health authorities recommend eating fish 2-3 times a week. Taking cod liver oil / or an omega 3 product as a dietary supplement might be a good alternative to secure a daily sufficient intake of fatty acids.