Omega 3 plays an important role in preventing macular degeneration
The results are from a study, published in the journal Ophthalmology. The research was the first to calculate the combined effect of certain dietary nutrients on a person's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. The data were collected from a database of 4003 participants of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), conducted by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA).
People with macular degeneration lose central vision of the eye. Researchers are still unsure about what causes macular degeneration, but risk factors include aging, smoking, family history and obesity. Although the disease has a strong genetic component, a growing body of research has shown that healthy behaviors may reduce the risk of developing the disease. Dietary nutrients related to lower risk of macular degeneration include vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acid, known as DHA and EPA
Nutrients that promote ocular health
According to American researchers, dietary nutrients related to lower risk of macular degeneration are vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acid, known as DHA and EPA Beta-carotene, a nutrient often associated with eye health, has not been reported as an element of lower risk of macular degeneration.
The Importance of Omega 3
The protective role of fish seems potentially linked to its omega 3 content. The impacts of different types of fish or seafood have not yet been fully investigated as a protective factor for ocular diseases, but we already know that the high intake of fish and seafood rich in omega 3 fatty acids, such as crab and oysters, have a protective effect on the retina, which decreases the risk of developing AMD.
Omega 3 is important for preserving small vessels that irrigate the eyes and still protects the retina against inflammation. And it's not just the fish that deserve to get on the plate more often: nuts are also protective of sight. Two handfuls a week would increase the shield against the decline of the macula. Olive oil is another example. As with oilseeds, the benefit comes from a mixture of healthy fats and antioxidants, which can mitigate the effects of time on vision.
The beneficial fats selected for the menu still maintain a bond with the lubrication of the eyeball. And who stands out again is the omega 3, also consecrated in the fight against dry eye. This problem is caused by a change in the composition of the tear that humidifies the cornea, which evaporates faster. As lipids are the ingredients of this liquid, there is evidence that omega-3s of fish and flaxseed contribute to restoring normal tears.
Age-related macular degeneration especially affects people over 60 and can lead to marked loss of the central vision if it is not treated.
Why prevent the appearance of AMD?
Although there is no single known cause for the origin of the disease, we know that age is the main trigger of AMD and that there are other facilitators for the onset of macular degeneration, such as excess cholesterol in the blood.Exposure to sunlight can also trigger oxidation in the macula, causing cell death in the region and degenerating it. Therefore, we must always wear sunglasses with protection against UV-A and UV-B rays, which can damage the retina.
Smokers are also more prone to disease, as cigarettes accelerate the oxidation of the body and promotes the formation of drusen. Drugs are strong indications that there is a tendency for macular degeneration to occur and show that the metabolism is aging and no longer able to eliminate the substances it produces.
While studies on the relationship between diet and prevention of degeneration macular still progress, the most effective way to prevent the disease is still routine ophthalmological examination, which should be done annually. The ophthalmologist may also request additional tests, such as fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to complement the diagnosis of AMD.
Age-related macular degeneration especially affects people over 60 years and may lead to marked loss of the central vision, if left untreated. It is estimated that approximately 10% of people between 65 and 74 years and about 30% of those over 75 have the disease in the world. According to the Brazilian Council of Ophthalmology, 2.9 million people over 65 suffer from the problem in Brazil.
To address macular degeneration appropriately, we need campaigns to educate patients, especially the elderly, about the existence of the disease. It is necessary to involve the general practitioner and the patient in order to enable them to perform the early detection of AMD when the chances of improving vision and controlling the disease are greater. It is also necessary educational actions after the diagnosis of the disease, so that the patient makes the treatment properly.
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