Eating omega-3 fatty acids could ward off age-related macular degeneration (AMD), suggest findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and reported by Reuters Health.  

AMD causes retina deterioration, the leading cause of vision loss among U.S. adults.

For the study, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, examined data from 1,837 clinical trial participants with early signs of AMD. The NIH conducted the trial to evaluate nutritional approaches to preventing and treating AMD.

Study findings indicated that participants who consumed the largest amount of omega-3 fatty acids were 30 percent less likely than those with the least intake to reach an advanced stage of AMD.

“Our results, if confirmed by other studies and extended by clinical trials, may guide the development of low-cost, easily implemented and widely accepted interventions to prevent the progression to advanced AMD,” said John Paul SanGiovanni, ScD, MS, of the NIH’s National Eye Institute, the study’s lead researcher.

About 1.75 million Americans have severe vision-damaging AMD.

Learn how to keep your eyes healthy here.