Slowing the Progression of Macular Degeneration

New research from the AREDS studyhas found that fish oil consumption decreases the risk of macular degeneration progressing to the advanced stages.  This was shown to be true for both wet and dry macular degeneration.

Designed to assess the clinical course, prognosis, and risk factors of age-related macular degeneration, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, examined the relationship of dietary intake of Omega-3long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish oil) with the progression to advanced macular degeneration in over 1,800 patients.Those participants in the study reporting the highest consumption of fish oil were shown to be approximately 30% less likely than others reporting lower fish oil consumption to develop advanced macular degeneration.  The study in the effects of Omega-3 on the progression of macular degeneration took place over a 12-year period and showed that the results for central geographic atrophy and neovascular macular degeneration were similar.

Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and their effect on the processes that result in the progression of macular degeneration have been shown to be related.  While the results of a lot of research in this area is observational, there have been biological credible explanations as to the relationship of fish oil and macular degeneration.

The research has concluded that these nutriets represent an easily implemented approach to halding or decreasing the progression of macular degeneration.  The research clearly shows that because the concentration of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the retina can be modified and dependent on diet, there may be benefit to increasing the dietary intact of omega-3.

There is currently a 4,000 person trial underway as part of the AREDS2 study, that is examining the effect of fish oil supplements on the risk of macular degeneration progression.