Studies: Fish oil helps vision

July 11, 2006

U.S. and Australian researchers have found that fish oil helps save vision as one ages but cigarette smoking increases the risk of blindness.

A study led by Dr. Johanna Seddon at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, said age-related macular degeneration or AMD, which causes vision loss, is nearly twice as common in elderly smokers than non-smokers. It also said seniors who eat fish at least twice weekly are almost half as likely to have AMD than those who eat fish less than once a week, reports Webmd.

In Australia, experts at the University of Sydney, found that age-related macular problems are rarer in people whose diets are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, including salmon and mackerel, as well as flax seeds and walnuts.

In the U.S. study, Seddon's team found that current smokers had a 1.9-fold increased risk of AMD while past smokers had about a 1.7-fold increased risk of AMD, compared with nonsmokers.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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