Eating oily fish keeps blindness at bay

Thursday, December 2, 2010

LONDON - A diet rich in oily fish could hold the key to preventing blindness in the elderly, a study says.

The Omega-3 group of fatty acids, found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna, may help protect against the commonest forms of sight loss among older people, it suggests.

Scientists studying the diets of adults over the age of 65 found those who regularly ate seafood were far less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is caused by death of cells in the retina, reports the journal Ophthalmology.

There is currently no cure for the condition, which affects almost a third of Britons over the age of 75, reports the Daily Mail.

It gradually causes sufferers to lose their ‘central vision,’ meaning they can no longer see what is directly in front of them, making activities like reading, writing, driving and watching TV almost impossible.

US scientists surveyed 2,400 volunteers aged 65 to 84. Those who ate oily fish or shellfish - particularly crab, oysters or mussels - twice a week or more often were far less likely to have AMD.

Lead researcher Sheila West from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the US said: “While participants in all groups averaged at least one serving of fish or shellfish per week. Those who had advanced AMD were significantly less likely to consume high omega-3 fish and seafood.”

Filed under: Featured Article, Medicine, World

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