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Eating fish can reduce the risk of blindness

Posted Mar 21 2011 12:44pm

Eating omega-3 fatty acids, which are most commonly found in oily fish such as tinned salmon and tuna can prevent the onset of age related macular degeneration (AMD) which can lead to the gradual loss of vision.

Research by the Harvard Medical School found that ensuring you eat one or two portions of oily fish every week could reduce the risk of loss of sight by up to 42%. 

More than 500,000 people in Britain suffer from AMD, which is caused by the deterioration and death of the cells in the macula, a part of the retina used to see straight ahead. The disease is more common in people over 40, and causes the person to lose their sight by creating a black spot in the centre of their vision which over time gets bigger. An urgent breakthrough is required, as the number of AMD sufferers is expected to treble due to the ageing population. 

The study involved more than 38,000 women and assessed their eating habits, including the amount of omega-3 fatty acids they consumed.  Over the 10 year follow up study, the same women’s eye health was recorded with a specific focus on AMD.  The women who ate one or more serving of fish each week were 42% less likely to develop the condition that those who ate less than one serving per month. The results also showed that women who consumed the most Omega-3 fatty acids had a 38% lower risk of AMD that those who ate the least. 

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