If you need one more reason why Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids should be a part of your nutritional supplement regimen, we might have it for you right here! A long-term study* recently published in the journal Archives of Opthamology strongly suggests that the combination of these valuable nutrients slows the progression of a devastating disease called retinitis pigmentosa.
Retinitis Pigmentosa is a disease that affects approximately 2 million people worldwide. It usually begins as “night blindness” in adolescence and eventually progresses to tunnel vision. In many cases, the disease progresses to complete blindness in adulthood.
For the study, Eliot L. Berson, MD, of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and his associates analyzed data from 357 adults with retinitis pigmentosa who participated in one of three randomized clinical trials that were conducted from 1984 to 1991, 1996 to 2001 and 2003 to 2008. All subjects were receiving 15,000 international units Vitamin A in the form of retinyl palmitate for four to six years. Dietary questionnaires completed upon enrollment and at yearly follow-up visits were analyzed for the intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
In subjects whose Omega-3 fatty acid intake was rated as “high” (200 milligrams per day), a 40 percent reduction in the average yearly rate of decline of distance visual acuity was observed in comparison with those who consumed lower levels of the nutrient. A similar reduction was observed for retinal acuity.
“We conclude that mean annual rates of decline in distance and retinal visual acuities in adults with retinitis pigmentosa receiving vitamin A, 15 000 IU/d, are slower over 4 to 6 years among those consuming a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids,” say the researchers. “To our knowledge, this is the first report that nutritional intake can modify the rate of decline of visual acuity in retinitis pigmentosa.”
Want learn more about natural supplements that strengthen your eyesight?