New research adds to the mounting evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your eyesight sharp. In a recent study from the journal Ophthalmology, scientists discovered that older adults with a high omega-3 intake were less likely to develop advanced age-related macular degeneration (or AMD, a leading cause of blindness in the United States).
For the study, researchers surveyed 2,391 participants (ages 65 to 84) about their consumption of fish and shellfish. Study results showed that the 68 subjects with advanced AMD were significantly less likely to eat seafood rich in omega-3s (a type of healthy fat known to fight inflammation and damage caused by free radicals, both of which may contribute to AMD).
AMD is marked by deterioration in the macula (the center of the retina) and gradual loss of central vision. Along with age, common risk factors include smoking, obesity, and family history of the disease. Past research suggests that upping your intake of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin may also protect against AMD.