A combination of Vitamins, Minerals, and DHA prevent blindness from retinal damage in the elderly

June 29, 2009

DHA is one of the two healthy fats found in fish such as salmon or sardine. DHA is also available in supplement form from either fish or from a vegetarian source (algae source). In this study researchers from Tufts University and the University of Wisconsin showed that people with a higher intake of DHA had a 27% reduced risk of developing the worst form of age related macular degeneration (ARMD); the neovascular form that leads to blindness (it is also referred to as wet macular degeneration). The research was based on an analysis of dietary information from 2,924 participants eligible for the eight-year AREDS AMD trial. The AREDS (age related eye disease study) supplement used in the AREDS trial already consists of Vitamins C and E, Beta- Carotene, Zinc and Copper. The additional information concerning DHA was derived from a separate and further analysis of the AREDS data.

According to this newest evidence, higher intakes of DHA, combined with the (AREDS) supplement, may reduce the risk of AMD even further than AREDS only. The AREDS2 study will include the antioxidant carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin, and the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA along with the AREDS supplement.

ARMD is a degenerative retinal disease that causes central vision loss and leaves only peripheral vision, and the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 55 years of age in the Western world, according to AMD Alliance International. The study is published online ahead of print in the June 9th, 2009 edition of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.