Fish oils may help prevent blindness in elderly

Updated: Jul 24, 2009, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Fish oils could help prevent
the development of blindness in elderly people, according to
an American research.

Macular degeneration is a condition usually of older
adults that results in a loss of vision in the centre of the
visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina.

It can make it difficult to read or recognize faces, although
enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of
daily life.

The findings of the research, which were published in
the American Journal of Pathology, showed that a diet high in
omega three oils reduced the risk of developing age related
mucular degeneration, which causes loss of central vision in
the eye. It is thought the fish oils work by reducing inflammation levels.

Approximately 10 per cent of patients 66 to 74 years
of age will have findings of macular degeneration. The
prevalence increases to 30 per cent in patients 75 to 85 years
of age.

The study at the National Eye Institute in Bethesda,
discovered that mice put on a diet high in omega three oils
had slower progression of the leisons in the eye and some
improvement, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

The researchers are now working on new treatments
that might delay the onset of macular degeneration, the report
quoted lead author Dr Chi Chan as saying.

According to earlier research at Tufts University in
Boston, a diet rich in omega three, found in mackerel and
salmon, can help cut the risk of developing macular
degeneration by a third in humans.

Bureau Report