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BellaOnline's Nutrition Editor


Can Fish Oil Prevent Macular Degeneration?

According to research carried out at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, eating a diet rich in omega-3 fish oil may help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a serious eye disease that results in the loss of vision in the macula or center of the visual field. AMD makes it difficult or impossible to read or identify faces, even though the peripheral vision may remain intact.

AMD is the major cause of blindness in the U.S. for people over the age of fifty.

Nearly two million Americans suffer from advanced AMD with some associated vision loss. But the number is expected to rise to almost three million over the next ten years.

Who Gets Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Age-related Macular Degeneration seems to affect more women than men and more whites than African-Americans or other ethnic groups. Causes are mainly linked with:
  • smoking,
  • high fat diets,
  • high cholesterol,
  • high blood pressure,
  • overweight and obesity.
What age does it affect? About one out of ten people between the ages of 68 to 74 have AMD. And the number increases to three out of ten people between 75 and 85.

Publishing their results in Opthamology, the scientists from Johns Hopkins found that people who ate the least amount of omega-3 rich seafood had the highest incidence of AMD.

The researchers based their findings on a new analysis of a one-year survey for the food intake of almost 2,400 seniors between 65 and 84 living in the Eastern Shore region of Maryland.

At the end of the year, all participants in the study were given an eye exam.

Even though most of the residents in this area of the country eat at least one serving of fish a week, those in the study who had advanced AMD were the people who were much more likely to consume lower levels of omega-3 fish and seafood in their daily diet.

Macular Degeneration and the Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. And considerable research has found that a diet rich in omega-3 fish oils is also beneficial in preventing many other health conditions besides AMD.

For example, fish oil has been shown to help prevent and lower high cholesterol, high triglycerides and high blood pressure. Plus, the omega 3 EPA and DHA oils help provide relief for the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Higher consumption of omega-3 fish oil has also been found to help prevent:
  • stroke,
  • diabetes,
  • heart disease,
  • and certain cancers.
The highest levels of healthy omega-3 fish oils with EPA and DHA are found in cold water fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, anchovies and sardines.

Consumers of oily fish are sometimes warned of the potential presence of heavy metals and other fat-soluble pollutants, which can accumulate in the fish food chain.

However, after extensive review, researchers at Harvard's School of Public Health have found that the benefits of eating oily fish generally far outweighs any potential risk. This research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

But they warn you to avoid regularly eating predator fish, such as shark and swordfish.

How to Make Sure You Get Omega 3 Fish Oil Purity

Eating omega-3 rich fish at least two or three times a week and/or taking high quality guaranteed-pure omega 3 fish oil supplements on a daily basis makes good common sense, especially since itís good for your eyes, your heart and your whole body.

But the safest and healthiest thing for you to do is to limit the amount of fish you eat to one or two servings a week and get most of your omega 3 oils from pure fish oil supplements.

When buying supplements, avoid "marine lipids" and make sure all fish sources are specifically listed and are from clean waters. Also avoid "molecularly distilled" products. Distillation is NOT 100% and only necessary if the fish used are impure to begin with.

Since it's possible to get all of the great fish oil benefits from guaranteed 100% pure fish oil supplements, check out my highest recommendation at the omega 3 fish oil web site.

Be sure to subscribe to my free Natural Health Newsletter.

Click here for the Site Map.

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© Copyright by Moss Greene. All Rights Reserved.

Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy
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