Fatty acid found in fish prevents age-related vision loss

May 30, 2012

An omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, known as DHA, prevented age-related vision loss in lab tests, demonstrates recently published medical research from the University of Alberta.

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher Yves Sauve and his team discovered lab models fed DHA did not accumulate a toxic molecule at the back of the eyes. The toxin normally builds up in the retina with age and causes .

"This discovery could result in a very broad therapeutic use," says Sauve, whose work was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

"In normal aging, this toxin increases two-fold as we age. But in , there was no increase in this toxin whatsoever. This has never been demonstrated before – that supplementing the diet with DHA could make this kind of difference."

The team recently started another study, looking at people who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that results in the loss of central vision and is the main cause of blindness in those over the age of 50. The researchers will look for DNA markers in the blood of study participants. The team wants to determine if participants with certain genetic markers will respond better to increasing amounts of DHA in their diet and if so, why.

Explore further: Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids may cause memory problems

Related Stories

Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids may cause memory problems

February 27, 2012

A diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients commonly found in fish, may cause your brain to age faster and lose some of its memory and thinking abilities, according to a study published in the February 28, 2012, print ...

Recommended for you

A pocket-sized retina camera, no dilating required

March 20, 2017

It's the part of the eye exam everyone hates: the pupil-dilating eye drops. The drops work by opening the pupil and preventing the iris from constricting in response to light and are often used for routine examination and ...

Scientists deploy CRISPR to preserve photoreceptors in mice

March 14, 2017

Silencing a gene called Nrl in mice prevents the loss of cells from degenerative diseases of the retina, according to a new study. The findings could lead to novel therapies for preventing vision loss from human diseases ...

New help for that bane of middle-age: blurry close-up vision

February 28, 2017

Squinting while texting? Always losing your reading glasses? An eye implant that takes about 10 minutes to put in place is the newest in a list of surgical repairs for the blurry close-up vision that is a bane of middle age. ...

Vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma in laboratory mice

February 16, 2017

In mice genetically predisposed to glaucoma, vitamin B3 added to drinking water is effective at preventing the disease, a research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Simon W.M. ...

GARP2 accelerates retinal degeneration in a mouse model

February 15, 2017

In the retina of the eye, rod and cone cells turn light into electrical signals, the first step toward human vision. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are studying rod cell proteins GARP1 and GARP2 to learn ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tadchem
5 / 5 (1) May 30, 2012
Name that toxin!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.