A current edition of the Institute of Food Technologists newsletter reported on a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology which suggests that diets rich in omega-3-fatty acids may slow progression of early macular degeneration to the more severe form which results in loss of vision.
Almost 3,000 subjects enrolled in the Age Related Eye Disease Study conducted by Tufts University received supplements which included antioxidants, with or without zinc and were compared to a control group receiving a placebo. It was determined from an analysis of dietary history that inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet of subjects slowed degeneration irrespective of either the antioxidant or zinc treatment.
The effect was attributed to a lower dietary glycemic index. The researchers concluded that dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids was synergistic with antioxidants and zinc in the beneficial effect. These results compare to parallel studies on the advantages of dietary lutein. The levels of omega-3 fatty acids, lutien and zinc can be increased in eggs by selective formulation of diets fed to hens.