An omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, known as DHA, prevented age-related vision loss in lab tests, according to recent medical research from the University of Alberta.
With age, retina function progressively declines and A2E, a constituent of the toxin lipofuscin, accumulates in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Both events are typically exacerbated in age-related retina diseases.
Yves Sauvé, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and his team discovered that lab models fed DHA did not accumulate a toxic molecule at the back of the eyes. The toxin normally builds up in the retina with age and causes vision loss.
“In normal aging, this toxin increases twofold as we age. But in lab tests, there was no increase in this toxin whatsoever. This has never been demonstrated before—that supplementing the diet with DHA could make this kind of difference.”
These findings imply that dietary DHA could have broad preventative therapeutic applications (acting on pathologic and normal age-related ocular processes).
The above is based on the May 30, 2012 news release by the University of Alberta.
The research has been published online before print March 16, 2012 :
Dornstauder B, Suh M, Kuny S, Gaillard F, Macdonald IM, Clandinin MT, Sauvé Y. Dietary docosahexaenoic acid supplementation prevents age-related functional losses and A2E accumulation in the retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Apr 24;53(4):2256-65. Abstract.