Does Eating More Fish Prevent Macular Degeneration?

June 20, 2009

Happily, yet another analysis of the AREDS data (Age Related Eye Disease Study) indicates that eating more fish may reduce the progression of macular degeneration.  Eating one serving per week of cold water, fatty fish may reduce the risk of progression of ARMD by as much as 25%.  Fatty fish include such fish as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring  and shellfish.

Two compounds may be linked to retarding the progression;  docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), both found in cold water, fatty fish.  Researchers culled the AREDS data for qualifying patients (i.e. patients that ate cold water fish upon entry to the AREDS study).  Their eye disease was then followed.  Over 5000 eyes were followed!

What does this mean? As I have said before, there are going to be lots of these “studies” due to the recent “opening” of the data from the AREDS study.  While nothing has been proven, keep an open mind.  This is one of the largest groups ever studied for eye disease.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retinal Specialist




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2 Responses to “Does Eating More Fish Prevent Macular Degeneration?”

  • Dr. Ari Weitzner

    most people get drusen sooner or later, like getting grey hair. not affected by cholesterol. hereditary drusen are benign and rarely cause trouble. senile drusen can cause macular degeneration. taking vitamins for some large, soft drusen can lower risk of wet form of macular degeneration. in my practice, i generally don’t tell patients they have drusen-it can make them unnecessarily anxious. just continue to see your ophthalmologist at whatever interval she has recommended, or sooner if you suddenly have distorted or blurred vision. You can also always go for a second opinion.

  • Carol

    I wrote to you back in october about a posterior vitreous detachment and tennis. As of today I can go back to playing. When I went back I was told I have a drusen in the same eye. She said not to worry and come back in a year. She said the retina is fine but my concern is about macular degeneration down the road. I don’t know what kind of drusen it is. She said something about hereditary. Does cholesterol affect this condition. Should I go to a specialist. Thank you, Is there anything I can do for this condition?