Oysters, crab and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids - a fact that has been recognised as offering significant health benefits especially for joints and arthritis, skincare, digestive system and also brain function. However, results of a new study published in the latest edition of the clinical magazine Opthalmology suggest that eating more seafood rich in Omega-3 fatty acids appears to slow advanced macular degeneration, a common cause of age-related blindness. The study evaluated over two thousand people aged 65-84 years and would seem to give older people hope that they can improve eyesight  health through their diet. 

These results follow similar positive conclusions from previous research and the study author - Bonnielin Swenor of the Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins University - says "people who had the highest weekly intake of fish and shellfish high in omega-3 fatty acids were significantly less likely to have advanced disease." The participants in the study lived on Maryland's Eastern Shore and were initially asked to complete a questionnaire about their dietary habits for the previous year with specific focus on how much fish and shellfish they ate. They were then subsequently evaluated for macular degeneration.

The conclusions of the study were based on the stage of macular degeneration evident amongst the participants: 68 who were identified as having advanced macular degeneration including blood vessel problems and atrophy in the retina were noted as being significantly less likely to consume omega-3-rich seafood and shellfish on a regular basis. Of the balance of participants, 153 had intermediate stage degeneration, 227 had early stage disease and 1,942 showed no degeneration. Study author Swenor was thus able to conclude that a fish-rich diet could help older people improve eyesight health.

Other researchers welcomed the study results but cautioned that the conclusions should not be taken in isolation of a wide range of other factors which can also influence this age-related eyesight condition. In particular, genetic and environmental impacts could also play some role in determining the predisposition of older people to exhibit macular degeneration. Equally, other health and dietary factors could be important such as controlling blood pressure and eating plenty of green vegetables, nuts and fruit. However, there is a general consensus that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can enable older people to improve eyesight  health.

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