In an important study, scientists from the University of Alberta have revealed that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish could reverse age-related blindness. It is noted that a toxic substance accumulating near the back portion of the eyes is primarily responsible for vision loss seen in old age.
In the research, lab prototypes were exposed to omega 3 fatty acids or DHA. As per the results, the aforeasaid toxin did not seem to get collected in the retina and prevented loss of vision in the process. Reported in the journal, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, the analysis showed another potential benefit of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Consuming a diet rich in these nutrients could help senior citizens at risk of losing their sights.
“This discovery could result in a very broad therapeutic use. In normal aging, this toxin increases twofold as we age. But in lab tests, there was no increase in this toxin whatsoever. This has never been demonstrated before—that supplementing the diet with DHA could make this kind of difference,” commented Yves Sauvé, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
In a subsequent trial, the investigators will probe into macular degeneration seen in elderly individuals. This condition is said to be the primary cause of blindness in individuals aged above 50. The scientists will look for genetic markers that could respond to DHA in the blood. The findings will show if persons with specific biomarkers may react more to increase in omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil were recently cited to beneficial for psychiatric conditions.