Dietary prevention of adult macular degeneration: ω-3 fatty acids and antioxidants

Sheila Sedig, Ronald Ross Watson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Adult macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in those over 55 in the United States (US). Treatment of AMD is not very successful, therefore finding ways to prevent or slow the progression of the disease is important. The development of AMD is described in this chapter. Because the pathogenesis is thought to begin with hardening of the retinal arteries, dietary research has focused on fats and antioxidants that have been shown to be effective in decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease. Lowering total fat, saturated fat, and trans fats in the diet and improving the balance ω-3: ω-6 fatty acid ratio in the diet may help decrease inflammatory damage leading to AMD. The inflammatory cascade is described with emphasis on the role of ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an ω-3 fatty acid found in abundance in the retina; increasing intake of DHA, particularly from fish also decreases the risk of developing AMD. Antioxidants in the diet, particularly vitamins A, C, E, and zinc, may help decrease oxidative damage in the retina that could lead to AMD. Current recommendations for decreasing risk factors for AMD are listed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWild-Type Food in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Subtitle of host publicationThe Columbus Concept
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781588296689
StatePublished - 2008


  • Adult macular degeneration
  • antioxidants
  • diet
  • nutrition
  • ω-3 fatty acids
  • ω-6 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


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