Maintain Eye Health by Balancing Your Omegas

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Maintain Eye Health by Balancing Your OmegasWhen it comes to maintaining good health, people differ on what to focus on. Some concentrate on keeping a healthy body weight. For others, good digestion is a priority. Or, it could be that mental health becomes a focal point. Despite these different priorities, just about everyone agrees that maintaining good eyesight is very important. Being able to see clearly is a tremendous gift that we should all invest a little time and effort into protecting.

With that in mind, consider the results of a recent study linking omega fatty acid ratios to eye health. Researchers in Croatia investigated the possible connection between the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio and the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). They looked at 125 patients diagnosed with ARMD and divided these patients into five groups. They also had one group, without ARMD, which acted as a control.

Dietary fatty acid intake was measured using a food frequency questionnaire. The research team discovered that there was a statistically significant difference between the omega-6/omega-3 ratio in neovascular ARMD (a severe form of macular degeneration they called “stage 5”) compared to all other groups, including the control group.

For those with stage-five ARMD, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 was about 11:1. For other stages of ARMD, they found these omega-6/3 ratios: 7:1 and 5:1. The researchers concluded with this health advice: by changing nutrition habits, you could prevent the development of the severe neovascular form of ARMD.

What sort of omega-6/omega-3 ratio should you be aiming for to maintain eye health (and the health of the rest of you!)? Consider these results from another study:

— The average North American diet has an omega-6/omega-3 ratio of 15:1

— A ratio of 4:1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality

— A ratio of 2.5:1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer

— A lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk

–A ratio of 3:1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

— A ratio of 5:1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10:1 had adverse consequences

In short, try to get your omega-6/omega-3 ratio to around 4:1. For nutrition advice and help with balancing your omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids, follow read the article An Imbalance of Fatty Acids Could Increase Your Risk of Depression and Heart Disease.

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Richard M. Foxx, MD has decades of medical experience with a comprehensive background in endocrinology, aesthetic and laser medicine, gynecology, and sports medicine. He has extensive experience with professional athletes, including several Olympic competitors. Dr. Foxx practices aesthetic and laser medicine, integrative medicine, and anti-aging medicine. He is the founder and Medical Director of the Medical and Skin Spa located in Indian Wells, California, at the Hyatt Regency Resort. Dr. Foxx is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners... Read Full Bio »