Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
“First, it was little things floating things in the corner of my eyes. And then black spots. And now total darkness. I wish there was something I could’ve done.”
During my time working in a hospital, I worked with many diabetic patients.
Of those, a few suffered from diabetic retinopathy, an eye condition that can lead to blurred vision, dark spots and sometimes even blindness.
One of these patients (we will call her “Ruth”) ultimately lost her eyesight completely from this devastating disease. But only after years of suffering from blurred vision, “floaters” and dark or empty areas in her vision.
She would often talk to me about her condition and wished there were something she could have done differently to prevent it.
But what she (and science) didn’t know at the time was there is something you can do.
In fact, simply adding two servings of this superfood into your diet every week can cut your risk of experiencing diabetic retinopathy in half. And while this news is a little late to benefit Ruth, it could benefit you.
Put Some Fat in Your Fight
Researchers in Barcelona, Spain, analyzed the data of folks participating in a randomized trial that ran from 2003–09. Called the PREDIMED, this tested Mediterranean diets supplemented with nuts or olive oil against a control diet as a means to prevent heart issues over time. Those on the supplemented Mediterranean diets had a daily intake goal of 500 mg for omega-3 fatty acids.
The study, recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, included approximately 3,600 adults aged 55–80 who had Type 2 diabetes. The researchers focused on this group for their analysis. During the course of the study, 69 of the participants were diagnosed with potentially blinding diabetic retinopathy.
But what they discovered next was mind-blowing…
The researchers found that the participants meeting the omega-3 fatty acid guidelines during the study were a whopping 48 percent less likely to suffer from the sight-stealing condition than those who weren’t meeting the 500 mg/day intake!
But what’s more incredible… this eye-preserving amount of omega-3 fatty acids can be achieved by eating just two servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, per week.
Lead author Aleix Sala-Vila reports further research needs to be done to understand how the omega-3s helped to protect the eyes from the disease as well as how these types of dietary changes can help the eye health of folks without diabetes.
Though he does point out that other studies show positive links between eye health and dietary intake of omega-3s for all folks, not just those suffering with diabetes.
He went on to say, “People should be aware that regarding diet, even small changes in the right direction can lead to substantial benefit for themselves. Incorporating fish into their diet can be a way to live longer and better.”
Perhaps if Ruth had gotten this information years ago, she would’ve kept her eyesight and had a longer, better life.
While the study didn’t focus on omega-3 fish oil supplements, it would make sense to expect similar results from a high-quality, molecularly distilled fish oil. This way, you get all of the health benefits of fish without any nasty toxins.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily