Omega-3 fatty acids could help in retinopathy


Ocular neovascularization (formation of blood vessels in abnormal quantity, as in retinopathy), including that which occurs in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a primary cause of blindness in people of industrialized countries. In the neovascular form of AMD, the abnormal blood vessels grow from the choroid (highly vascularised middle layer of the eye, located between retina and sclera, which provides oxygen and nourishment to the retina) toward the outer retina. Why this is a problem? Because these newly formed vessels are dysfunctional: they leak fluid and are associated with fibrous proliferation (forming something similar to a net). The current usual treatment is targeted to the VEGF (a protein that stimulates neovascularization), but it does not lead to complete vascular regression or disease resolution.

Dietary enrichment with omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids has been shown to protect against this pathological formation of blood vessels, both in human and animal studies, reducing disease severity. Their metabolites not only promote choroidal neovascularization resolution, but also facilitate vascular repair and regression.



Yanai R, Mulki L, Hasegawa E et al. Cytochrome P450-generated metabolites derived from ω-3 fatty acids attenuate neovascularization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 1;111(26):9603-9608. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1401191111. Epub 2014 Jun 16.



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