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Increasing Fish Oil Dosage Slows Progression of Eye Disease

If you have age related macular degeneration (AMD) you need to increase your fish oil dosage by eating oily fish at least two times a week to keep your eye disease in check according to new research. It's the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like mackerel or salmon that slow (maybe even halt) the progress of both the early and later stages of the sight staling disease.

In the United Kingdom a half a million people suffer from AMD. In the United Sates, estimates suggest 1.75 million patients have the advanced form of AMD, and another 7.3 million are in the early stages of disease.

The concluding of this new work is based on research that involved about 3,000 subjects who took part in a trial on vitamins and supplements.

Experts have already told us that omega-3s might cut the risk of developing AMD by one third. This new work shows that these healthy fats may actually help people who've already been diagnosed.

The research showed that both the dry and wet forms of AMD were 25% less likely to progress in those subjects who ate sufficient omega-3 fatty acids.

The research suggests eating two to three (but no more than 4) servings of fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, shellfish or herring each week to get the recommended levels of 650mg of omega-3 a day.

Girls and women of childbearing age, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, need to limit fish take to two portions per week.

As with many good things, too much oily fish can be harmful as many of these fish contain low levels of pollutants that can be just as bad for your body in the long run.

When it comes to vitamins and supplements and AMD, the Tufts study found those with advanced disease who ate a low-GI diet that consist of foods that release sugar more slowly, and who also took supplemental antioxidant vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and zinc seemed to cut the risk of disease progression by even more – as much as 50%.

Another finding of the work?

Age related macular degeneration that's advanced might be cut by about 8% just by substituting five slices of whole grain bread for white bread.

The surprise of the Tufts study came in the finding that the supplements were counterproductive for subjects who had early AMD, even canceling out the benefits of the healthy omega-3 fats and possibly even increasing the speed of their disease progress.

Those who took antioxidant vitamins plus zinc, and who had a high daily intake of beta-carotene were 50% more likely to progress to advanced disease.

The Tufts University researchers think that omega-3 fatty acids provide protection from AMD by altering the fat levels in the blood after a meal that otherwise might be damaging to the body.

It's not clear if people should also take vitamin and mineral supplements with a high omega-3 diet because of the mixed findings of the work. But supplements are not required if oily fish is consumed on a regular basis.

The good news is that this is not the first study to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids might help to safeguard vision. Researchers from locations as far flung as Iceland and the Netherlands, as well as the US seem to agree that omega-3 fatty acids have an impact on AMD.

If you have questions or concerns for your own sight, talk with your doctor before making any change to your diet, increasing your fish oil dosage or adding supplements.

Source by Kirsten Whittaker

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