Those suffering from dry-age related macular degeneration (AMD), better known as Stargardt disease, are being asked to go for omega-3 fatty acid supplements, so as to enhance subjective and objective vision.
The last weekend witnessed presentation of a multicentre, prospective, double-blind trial at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), which implied observation by investigators worldwide. It said that improvements were observed in BCVA (best-corrected visual acuity) and ratio of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) to AA (arachidonic acid) in the patients who were given omega-3 fatty acids, that too, for 24 weeks.
These findings could be looked upon as being amongst the landmark ones, which could avert, or even reverse the loss of vision of the patients with chronic ophthalmic diseases, that too, with minuscule safety risks.
The investigation mentioned above was led by an assistant professor (Phd) of pharmacology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, Katerina Prokopiou. The theses said that there is a need to have an effective therapeutic intervention in the patients suffering from loss of vision owing to retinal degeneration.
Prokopiou, along with colleagues, did recruit 21 patients having the BCVA baseline scores between “21-55 ETDRS letters”. The mean age of patients was 60-63 years. 9 of them were women. The random ratio worked out was 2:1, which means – either daily DHA and EPA or placebo (sunflower oil) for 168 days (24 weeks).
Omega-3 fatty acids having DHA and EPA are seen in oily, fatty, fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel. The other sources are inclusive of cod liver oil, herring, oysters, sardines, caviar, and anchovies. Omega-3s are found in walnuts and the other seeds. However, they contain a higher quantity of ALA, which is, in turn, affable for brain and heart, but certainly does not fortify the eyes.
Which Recipes foster the intake of Omega-3?
The recipes that help in bolstering omega-3 intake, and ultimately ocular health are inclusive of slow roasted salmon with chilies, citrus, fennel, tuna and green bread salad, and cumin roasted potatoes with smoked salmon and caviar.
The intake mentioned above does help in prevention/treatment of ailments like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome (as mentioned above).
The NIH (national Institutes of Health) has also released data stating that Omega-3s are bound to positively impact heart and blood-vessel diseases, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer prevention, rheumatoid arthritis, and infant development.
Various clinical studies have documented that the necessity of omega-3 fatty acids for usual infant vision development can’t be ruled out. Research states that maternal breast milk is rich in DHA and the other omega-3s fatty acids.
Infants also getting Stronger with Omega-3?
As per a Pediatrics journal analysis of the studies put forth by Harvard School of Public Health, it has been found that the “healthy pre-term infants” who had been given DHA-supplemented formula did show a better sharpness (visual acuity) when they were either 2 or 4 months old in comparison with those who weren’t fed omega-3 supplement. Intake during pregnancy also helps in rendering normal infant vision development.
In a nutshell, Omega-3 – an ocular rock star!