Omega-3 and eye disorders age-related

 
 
 

Eye health and quality of life are related, it is therefore important the prevention and control of eye disorders, above all keeping in mind that they are common and can go unnoticed for a long time (because some have no symptoms at first). We should visit an ophthalmologist at least in the same way we should do with the dentist, for example, since early treatment is key to prevent some common eye disorders from causing permanent vision loss, among them, age-related macular degeneration.

In developed countries, age-related macular degeneration represents the first cause of blindness among people aged 65 years or older, and it affects nearly 12% of persons older than 80 years. In age-related macular degeneration, that causes damage to the macula (the part of the eye responsible for central vision), two types can be distinguished: the wet (neovascular) and the dry forms; it is unclear whether these forms are distinct or if they are different features of the same disorder. No effective treatments are available for the dry form, except the prevention and control of risk factors, which includes specific nutritional intake and dietary supplements.

Aging is characterized by an increase in the concentration of some pro-inflammatory molecules in the circulation; low-grade inflammation is associated with the age-related decline of many functional systems, therefore, controlling low-grade inflammation could prevent or reduce the age-related functional decline associated with retinal health. Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) are known by their anti-inflammatory properties and, besides, are essential for regular retinal structure and function. Several studies have shown that dietary omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a reduced incidence of age-related macular degeneration and have a protective role in its progression. Apart from the extraordinarily high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in retinal cell membranes, their beneficial effects on macular physiology and protection against degeneration could be also explained by its role in modulation of the gut microbiota (which has been associated with many health problems of inflammatory nature in the last 10 years).

We will all grow old one day, if we have that privilege. If we wish to maintain a good quality of life, it is important the prevention of the possible health problems that may occur. Omega-3 fatty acids can help us.

References:

Rinninella E, Mele MC, Merendino N, Cintoni M, Anselmi G, Caporossi A, et al. The Role of Diet, Micronutrients and the Gut Microbiota in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: New Perspectives from the Gut⁻Retina Axis. Nutrients. 2018;10(11).

Keep an Eye on Your Vision Health. CDC Features [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [fecha última actualización: 26 de julio de 2018]. Disponible en: https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthyvision/index.html