Fish for Better Vision

Feel like a tuna fish sandwich for lunch today? Go ahead, and add some lettuce and tomato slices, too. No doubt it will satisfy—and there might be a bonus in there for your eyesight.

New studies support the theory that the tuna and tomato can help protect your eyes from age-related diseases like macular degeneration (AMD) and other diseases. Some facts…

  • About 9 million people who are 40 and older have vision loss because of AMD, which damages the center of the eye’s retina.
  • In a recently published study, women who ate more tuna and dark-meat fish, such as salmon and sardines, had 38 percent less risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
  • Women who ate fish, a prime source of Omega-3s, at least once a week were less likely to get age-related macular degeneration compared with women who ate fish just once a month, a new study finds.
  • In general, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables appears to reduce the chances of developing cataract or macular degeneration. Other compounds, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, in particular, seem to protect against cataracts.

The recent studies of Omega-3s and macular degeneration mean more because they establish stronger links between consumption of the Omega-3s and prevention of AMD. The protection probably comes through reduction of inflammation in the body.

To strengthen those ties and establish causality, scientists have embarked on a randomized trial, funded by the National Eye Institute. An earlier trial found that taking zinc and antioxidants reduced the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration by about 25 percent.

The lead author of the study commented that he eats “lots of tuna.” So if that sounds appealing, follow suit—your eyes just might thank you. Remember to consult the Akea Food Matrix to determine the ideal amounts of fish and other foods in your own Hot Spot healthy diet.

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