There is mounting evidence that fish and fish oil consumption are beneficial to eye health.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish are proven essential to human eye health and function.
Scientists at the National Eye Institute (NEI) within the National Institutes of Health say there is consistent evidence that omega-3s protect against damage to the blood supply and nerves of the retina.
These benefits are tied to both of the major omega-3s in fish fat DHA and EPA, but it remains clear that DHA plays the most important role.
Omega-3 DHA exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant influences on the genes in cells within the retina.
The body makes omega-3 EPA from DHA, and EPA suppresses inflammation as well as the overgrowth of blood vessels that causes age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD results in loss of vision in the center of the visual field and is the main cause of blindness in people over 50.
Also based on mouse study from Canada’s University of Alberta, it appears we have more to learn about the importance of omega-3s to eye health.
The study tested the effects of omega-3 DHA on a key player in the onset of macular degeneration.
The retina is a blood and nerve-rich layer of tissue at the back of the eye, which receives light streaming through the lens.
Nerve cells in the retina then transmit signals to the brain, which turns them into the miraculous phenomenon we experience as “vision”.
As people age, a substance called lipofuscin builds up in the eye’s retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Accumulation of lipofuscin,which consists of yellow-brown pigment granules in these retinal cells is a major risk factor for macular degeneration.