June 15, 2009
Two new studies suggest that the most common cause of functional blindness is preventable with healthy fatty acids.
This newsletter has previously suggested that certain vitamins and other nutrients have a preventive effect against the age-related macular degeneration (AMD), meaning a degeneration of the cones in the macula. The cells of the retina responsible for our central vision and our color vision.
Recently two new scientific studies have appeared from Australia, which very convincingly make probable that it is the healthy fatty acids that prevent this frequent visual impairment.
The first study showed that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids and low intake of linoleic acid protect against AMD.
In this study, 2,454 people were followed for up to 10 years, where the incidence of AMD related to their intake of fish, nuts or fatty acids in the form of supplements was recorded.
The study showed a risk reduction of 31% and 35% in those who regularly ate fish and nuts or consumed n-3 fatty acids (fish oil and flaxseed oil) and the authors advise you to make an effort to attain this and avoid a diet rich in linoleic acid that occurs especially in the cheap cooking oils e.g. corn oil.
The second study showed that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil reduces the risk of AMD, and that a high intake of trans fatty acids increase the risk.
Data from 6,734 people between 58 and 69 years was examined.
It turned out that the highest intake of trans fatty acids increased the risk of AMD by 76% compared to the lowest.
To the contrary a high intake of fish oil also here showed a reduced risk (15%).
But most compelling was that a high intake of olive oil reduced the risk of AMD with whole 52%.
The healthy essential fatty acids is beneficial for virtually every cell in the body and bad fats can cause just as much harm.
So again in these fat frightening times let´s strike a blow for the good fat we should eat much more of
By: Claus Hancke, MD
• “Dietary fatty acids and the 10-year incidence of age-related macular degeneration: the Blue Mountains Eye Study,” Tan JS, Wang JJ, et al, Arch Ophthalmol, 2009; 127(5): 656-65.
• “Fat consumption and its association with age-related macular degeneration,” Chong EW, Robman LD, et al, Arch Ophthalmol, 2009; 127(5): 674-80