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Omega-3 fatty acids can lower your risk of diabetic retinopathy

by , 16 August 2017
Omega-3 fatty acids can lower your risk of diabetic retinopathy
You're probably already familiar with some of the ways that omega-3 fatty acids help your health. To recap: These fats curb joint pain and stiffness, reduce elevated triglyceride levels, relieve depression and stave off Alzheimer's disease.

Now, a new report published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology has found yet another reason to get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. According to the report, omega-3s may prevent diabetic retinopathy - a complication of diabetes that harms your eyes and vision and can even lead to blindness. For the full scoop on this new study, keep reading.

New study finds that people who consume omega-3 fatty acids may prevent diabetic retinopathy

To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers behind the study looked at over 3,500 people in Spain with type 2 diabetes who were participating in a trial examining the effects of following a Mediterranean diet. They followed these people for about six years.
The researchers found that those who reported that they consumed at least 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day – which is equivalent to two servings of fatty fish such as salmon per week – had a significantly lower risk of diabetic retinopathy.


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Researchers think the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids prevent the diabetes complication

While the researchers didn’t explore why omega-3 fatty acids may prevent diabetic retinopathy, they argue that the anti-inflammatory effects of these fats may be the reason. There’s only one limitation in this study, and that’s the fact that all of the participants lived in Spain, where many people follow a Mediterranean diet. This popular diet has various documented health benefits as it’s abundant in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
That aside, as Dr Michael Larsen of the University of Copenhagen wrote in a corresponding editorial to the study: “The study provides food for thought for those who wish to fight the complications of diabetes by clever eating.”
“It seems a safe bet now to spread one’s food intake to include the gifts of our oceans and forests, while we consider how they can be protected for future generations and wait for large and ambitious studies of the effects of diet on diabetic retinopathy,” he concluded.
To get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, make sure you fill up on omega-3-rich foods or take a daily fish oil supplement.

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