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Higher intake of fish and vitamin D levels linked to lower risk of age-related macular disease

oiled/baked, was also inversely associated with neovascular AMD." Eating more than two medium (4-ounce) servings of fish per week or more than one medium serving of broiled or baked fish was associated with the lowest risk for advanced AMD.

Omega-3 fatty acids may influence processes involved in the development of blood vessel and nerve-related diseases of the retina, the authors write. For instance, DHA may protect the retina by influencing which genes turn on and off, while fatty acids overall may eventually form compounds that promote cell survival and proper blood vessel function, reduce inflammation and maintain energy balance.

"These results and those from other observational analytic investigations suggest that modifying diet to include more foods rich in omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids could result in a reduction in the risk of having neovascular AMD," the authors conclude. Clinical trials would provide further information about whether diet changes or supplements could prevent the development of advanced AMD.

In a related study, Niyati Parekh, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of the Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick, and the University of WisconsinMadison, and colleagues analyzed data from 7,752 individuals (including 11 percent with AMD) who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a large study designed to represent the entire U.S. population. Participants were enrolled in the study between 1988 and 1994. They had physical examinations that included blood and urine samples, photographs of the retinas, and interviews and questionnaires regarding sociodemographics, lifestyle habits and food intake.

"Levels of serum vitamin D were inversely associated with early AMD but not advanced AMD," the authors write. When participants were split into five groups based on level of vitamin D in the blood, those in the highest group had a 40 percent lower risk of early AMD th
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Contact: Tracy Clemons
301-251-1161
JAMA and Archives Journals
14-May-2007


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