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Omega-3 fatty acids combined with vitamin A may slow vision loss

  Recent findings have shown that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids combined with vitamin A supplementation may slow vision loss for patients with retinitis pigmentosa. The condition affects one in every 4,000 people, and early symptoms include night blindness and loss of side vision during young adulthood. These symptoms ¬†lead to tunnel vision and sometimes virtual blindness. Dr. Eliot Berson of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary found that for patients with this disease taking vitamin A palmitate, those who ate more oily fish per week better maintained their distance and retinal acuity compared to patients who ate lower amounts of these fatty acids. If these results were extrapolated, the researchers hypothesized that a patient with retinitis pigmentosa who started receiving vitamin A by age 35 and ate a high volume of omega-3 fatty acids could preserve visual acuity by an additional 18 years, compared to a patient who had a low intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

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