A new study from the University of Alberta discovered that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, helped to prevent age-related vision loss in lab tests.
Yves Sauvé, PhD, an award-winning researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, and his team discovered that lab mice fed DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) did not accumulate a toxic molecule at the back of the eyes called A2E. The toxin normally builds up in the retina with age and causes vision loss.
“This discovery could result in a very broad therapeutic use,” says Dr. Sauvé, whose work was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.
Dr. Sauvé explained: “In normal aging, this toxin increases twofold as we age. But in lab tests, there was no increase in this toxin whatsoever. This has never been demonstrated before—that supplementing the diet with DHA could make this kind of difference.”
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Published online before print March 16, 2012, “Dietary Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation Prevents Age-Related Functional Losses and A2E Accumulation in the Retina,” Blake Dornstauder, Miyoung Suh, Sharee Kuny, Frédéric Gaillard, Ian M. MacDonald, Michael T. Clandinin, Yves Sauvé Department of Ophthalmology, 7-55 Medical Sciences Bldg, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Canada
Supported in part by Canadian Institutes of Health Research Grant 151145, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Barbara Tuck/MacPhee Family Vision Research Award in Macular Degeneration, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Olive Young Foundation, the Lena McLaughlin Foundation (Mona and Rod McLennan), and the Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada (YS).