January 22, 2018
Fish Helps Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy
Wellness Tip

Fish Helps Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you have type 2 diabetes, eating fatty fish may reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that often causes blindness, suggests an analysis of data from the Spanish PREDIMED study, recently in JAMA Ophthalmology. PREDIMED was designed to evaluate the potential benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

The new analysis focused on 3,400 participants (average age 67) who had type 2 diabetes, correlating their intake of omega-3 fats from seafood with their risk of diabetic retinopathy over a six-year period. Those consuming at least 500 milligrams of marine omega-3 fats a day, on average—equal to about two or three servings of fatty fish a week—were 50 percent less likely to develop retinopathy than those consuming less than that.

The retina is rich in omega-3s, and lab research has found that higher levels of these fats have a protective effect against diabetic retinopathy, according to the researchers. The study did not look at omega-3 supplements.

Also see Diet and Age-Related Macular Degeneration, for another potential eye benefit of the Mediterranean diet.