Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Lower Chances of Diabetic Retinopathy

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Two servings a week tied to 48% reduced risk of incident sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy
Two servings a week tied to 48% reduced risk of incident sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy

HealthDay News — For patients with diabetes, two servings of fatty fish a week may be enough to lower their risk of diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published online August 18 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Aleix Sala-Vila, PhD, of the Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues focused on participants who were drawn from an earlier trial that had divided Spanish residents with type 2 diabetes into three different groups, each assigned to a different diet. The first followed a low-fat diet. The second followed a Mediterranean (plant-based/red meat-free) diet, supplemented with extra virgin olive oil. And the third also followed a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with nuts. The team found that it was the individuals in the second group who saw their vision risks fall.

Working with the same pool of participants, Sala-Vila's team then asked 3,614 men and women with diabetes between the ages of 55 and 80 to report how often they consumed eight types of seafood before embarking on their assigned diets. Once they began their diets, their seafood consumption habits were tracked for nearly five years.

The researchers found that those who routinely consumed 500mg a day of omega-3 fatty acid in their diets (equal to two servings of fatty fish per week) were 48% less likely to develop incident sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy than those who consumed less.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the International Nut Council and the California Walnut Commission.

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