How mussels and oysters can help save your sight

December 9, 2010 11:27

A diet rich in shellfish such as mussels and oysters could hold the key to preventing blindness among thousands of elderly, according to new research, reports with reference to Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group.

Scientists in America studying the diets of adults aged over 65 found those who regularly ate shellfish or oily fish such as mackerel were far less likely to develop macular degeneration, which is caused by the loss of cells in the retina. There is currently no cure for the condition, which affects almost a third of Britons over the age of 75. In the study, according to an article in the Daily Mail, scientists surveyed 2,400 volunteers aged 65 to 84. Those who ate oily fish or shellfish - particularly mussels, oysters or crabs - twice a week or more were far less likely to have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is thought that the omega-3s may help protect cells in the retina from damaged caused by sunlight, which occurs gradually with age. The research at Wilmer Eye Institute at the John Hopkins School of Medicine in Maryland backs up earlier studies, which showed omega-3s help slow the progression of advanced AMD. Omega-3 fatty acids have long been known to help lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of irregular heart rhythms, halt growth of fat clogging the arteries and reduce levels of the harmful fat tryglyceride, which has been linked to heart attacks.

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