Age-Related Macular Degeneration & Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Posted on June 22, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Australian researchers reviewed 9 published studies and concluded that eating fish twice a week reduced the risk of early and late AMD – Age-related Macular Degeneration.  The studies included over 3,000 people with AMD and found that a diet high in intake of omega-3 fatty acids was correlated with a 38% reduced risk of AMD.

Outer cells of the retina are continually shed and regenerated.  With a sufficient dietary intake, the [long-chain] omega-3 fatty acids were found to be integral in the formation of the layer of nerve cells in the retina.  The researchers tempered their results by stating the consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may be associated with a lower risk of AMD, but there is currently insufficient literature, prospective studies and randomized trials to support an unqualified conclusion and recommendations.


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5 Responses to “Age-Related Macular Degeneration & Omega-3 Fatty Acids”


There are numerous peer review research studies showing that macular degeneration can be very reponsive to specific nutritinal supplementation that include lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, gingko biloba, and others.

Last month Archives of Ophthalmology published a meta analysis on omega-3 fatty acid and fish intake and its effect on the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

This study identified 274 abstracts, 3 prospective cohort, 3 case-control, and 3 cross-sectional studies.

Using quantitative methods, a high dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a 38% reduction in the risk of late AMD. Fish intake (2x per week) was associated with reduced risk of early and late AMD.

More omega-3 and AMD specific studies need to be conducted to further investigate omega-3¹s effect on AMD.

Ref: Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(6):826-833.

For more information on recent research studies, go to and click on “Research”

Knowing my body doesn’t manufacture the Omega -3 and -6 oils it requires, and because I don’t eat fish every day (and farm raised fish such as salmon are inferior to wild fish but hard to get), I dutifully take my Omega -3 and -6 oils caps every day. I read your product’s info. and it sounds good. Glad to see the inclusion of certified organix flaxseed oil, too. But my question is, if I do eat two or more servings of wild fish/salmon in a day, can I skip taking my Omega -3 and -6 supplements that day?

Re Beka Beka’s question: “if I do eat two or more servings of wild fish/salmon in a day, can I skip taking my Omega -3 and -6 supplements that day?” – if you eat two servings of oily fish in a day then you almost certainly won’t need any kind of Omega Fatty Acid supplement. As 3 ounces of salmon will provide about 1500mg of EPA and DHA (combined total), supplements should not be necessary to boost your Omega 3 levels and the western diet generally contains plentiful amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids – rendering supplements unnecessary.

Good info from “jdc” but, because I know I don’t eat fish more than once or twice a week, I take a regular Omega Oil capsule daily – just to be sure. I feel it’s cheap insurance for my joint health over the long haul.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an ophthalmic disorder that causes irreversible loss of central vision. The macula of the eye accumulates zeaxanthin and lutein, oxygenated carotenoids with antioxidant and blue light-absorbing properties so eating sufficient foods rich in zeaxanthins may be effective in preventing AMD.

Chinese Goji berries have been shown to have bioavailable zeaxanthin in human supplementation trials, and that a modest daily intake increases fasting plasma zeaxanthin levels. The Goji berry, aka Lycium barbarum L., is a small red berry also called Fructus lycii and/or wolfberry in the West, and Gou Qi Zi and Kei Tze in Asia. In Chinese culture the Goji berry is valued for being good for vision and is often made into a tea to treat eye fatigue. Cheng CY, et al. Fasting plasma zeaxanthin response to Fructus barbarum L. (wolfberry; Kei Tze) in a food-based human supplementation trial. Br J Nutr 93(1):123-30, Jan 2005

Goji berries can be found in Chinese grocery stores and are often displayed in bins in the midst of other dried herbs. The most delicious Goji berries are the not-too-dark and not-too-bright in-between reddish color berries that are packed a little stickily. The bright orange berries are eye attractive but usually too tart or much less flavorful, and the fluffy rice-looking berries are less flavorful and seem to be harder in texture.

To make Goji berry tea, place a handful of Goji berries in the bottom of a large mug, pour boiling water over the berries and fill the cup at least 3/4 full. Let the berries steep at least 2-3 minutes, then drink and enjoy.


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