A recent review study looked at fish oil supplementation as a primary prevention method of age related macular degeneration. (Age-related macular degeneration :An eye disease with its onset usually after age 60 that progressively destroys themacula , the central portion of the retina , impairing central vision.) Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) rarely causes blindness because only the center of vision is affected. However, injury to the macula in the center of the retina can impair the ability to see straight ahead clearly and sometimes make it difficult to read, drive, or perform other daily activities that require fine central vision.
Consuming fish or taking fish oil supplements were shown to reduce the reduction of late AMD by 38%. However there were very few studies reviewed which were Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) as most were epidemiological studies looking at dietary recall. RCTs are the gold standard, but dietary recall do not carry much weight in the eyes of research. Therefore the authors concluded, “Although this meta-analysis suggests that consumption of fish and foods rich in -3 fatty acids may be associated with a lower risk of AMD, there is insufficient evidence from the current literature, with few prospective studies and no randomized clinical trials, to support their routine consumption for AMD prevention.”
Modern medicine has a lot to offer for other eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma, but unfortunately has little to offer for those suffering from AMD. However there are steps people can take to reduce their risk as well as alternative treatments to slow the disease progression. For one getting a good source of the caratenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are important. Eat your greens such as kale and spinach. Supplementation is also important and I like either ProGreens, NanoGreens or Paleogreens since they are balanced concentration of whole food extracts. Since fish consumption and fish oils are shown to be beneficial it is important for those at risk to take these protective lipids. The world of Chinese medicine also has more to offer than modern medicine for AMD as acupuncture and a Microstim machine I use for all my AMD patients can provide tremendous benefit.
It is important for anyone that may have a AMD genetic predisposition to eat well and use supplementation to support the macula’s health. Patients can also purchase a personal Microstim machine that they would use daily simply applying the pads over the eyes for 20 minutes a day. There has been a tremendous amount of positive clinical results with these devices in reducing disease progression.
Acupuncture, Nutrition and Herbal Medicine
Maynard, MA & Cambridge, MA