Oily Fish Reduces Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness in aging adults.  A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating oily fish once a week may reduce macular degeneration.

The research which was coordinated by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine investigated the association between fish intake and omega-3 fatty acids with wet macular degneration (AMD). The study would compare people diagnosed with wet macular degeneration and controls.

Participants in the study were interviewed and asked about their dietary intake, including how much fish they ate and what type. Using the dietary data and linking it to food composition tables, researchers were able to ascertain information on the main omega-3 fatty acids.

The findings indicated that people who consume oily fish at least once a week were 50 percent less likely to have wet macular degeneration. There was no benefit shown from non-oily fish. According to Astrid Fletcher, Professor of Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the study showed “a clear beneficial association on wet macular degeneration from the consumption of oily fish and is consistent with results from studies in the USA and Australia.”

While there is a benefit from eating oily fish and the associated omega-3 fatty acids, the research team is not recommending omega-3 supplements as a mechanism for fending off macular degeneration. There was no testing done on any dietary supplements.