Last Wednesday, it has been reported that eating foods which have high omega-3 contents appear to help seniors be protected against the start of certain eye disease known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This was according to an analysis conducted by the Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

According to Sheila K. West, the study lead author, the study puts together some earlier findings about the effectiveness of omega-3 against advanced AMD. She said that eating fish and shellfish that are rich in omega-3 is the key factor behind this.

West and the rest of the research group based their findings on an analysis on a dietary survey that lasted for one year during the early 1990s. The said survey involved 2,400 seniors aged between 65 and 84 who were living in Maryland’s Eastern Shore region, a place where fish and shellfish are a part of their everyday meal.

The food intake was assessed later on and the participants in the survey underwent eye examinations. Around 450 elder participants had AMD, and exactly 68 had advanced stage of disease that may lead to severe eye impairment or even blindness.

AMD is among the most major causes of blindness among white men and women in the United States. This was according to an information background of the news release.

There are evidences that showed that dietary zinc is also an effective way to fight AMD. With this being said, the researchers studied if the consumption of zinc from a diet composed of crabs and oysters would help minimize the risk of AMD. However, there were no associations seen. The researchers, however, said that the low dietary zinc levels may be accountable to the absence of association.

Anand Swaroop of U.S. National Eye Institute said that the photoreceptiors have significantly high concentrations of certain fatty acids and lipids. This would justify that omega-3 consumption may be beneficial in reducing eye disease risks among elders. Swaroop, however, does not advice people to take supplements of omega-3 in many grams to help themselves from the symptoms of AMD. Swaroop said further that AMD is a long term disease and the study was only done for one year. Thus it is still inadequate to conclude that omega-3 can help prevent the occurrence of AMD in the long run. Further studies must be done to fully justify dn conclude such claim.