A regular diet that includes food rich in omega-3 can help prevent one of the most common causes of vision loss, new research suggests. According to a report by The Annals of Ophthalmology, omega-3 fish oil may cut the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by as much as a third.
AMD is a progressive and irreversible condition that affects older adults. It is caused by thinning and bleeding around the macula – the central portion of the retina. This results in a loss of sight in the center of the field of vision. People with AMD, who are mostly over the age of 60, lose the ability to see fine detail. Severely affected AMD patients are often classified as legally blind although they still have some peripheral vision left.
Similar studies conducted by the University of Melbourne confirmed that eating fish twice a week was linked to a reduced risk of AMD. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the National Eye Institute also reported that nutritional supplements of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), could also prevent the eye disease.
DHA, the omega-3 present in every cell membrane of the human body, is also highly concentrated in the brain, retina, and heart. It is vital to good health. Studies have already linked omega-3 fatty acids with a variety of health benefits, the most significant being that it can help people with heart disease.
Western diets are often deficient in omega-3. These fatty acids are commonly found in cold-water oily fish. This group of fish includes salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, anchovies, sardines and hoki. Unfortunately many oceans, especially those in the Northern Hemisphere; contain high levels of toxins that are harmful when consumed by fish which are then consumed by humans.
One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in a deep-water fish called the Hoki, which lives in the Southern Hemisphere. Hoki fish are abundant in the crystal-clear deep waters around New Zealand and the pharmaceutical grade fish oil extracted from them is rich in omega-3. This can be taken regularly as a dietary supplement.
Pharmaceutical grade fish oil is manufactured using molecular distillation as this retains the good fatty acids while leaving the unwanted contaminants behind. Molecular distillation ensures that the fish oil is pure and highly concentrated. These are the omega-3 supplements that my family and myself take every day to protect our eyesight.