Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Macular Degeneration Not Slowed by Fish Oil

Macular degeneration remains a leading cause of blindness among older citizens. A study two decades ago showed that supplementation with a particular mix of vitamins and minerals could slow the progression of this condition. Now a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed that adding omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements does not improve the results obtained with the original formula.

More than 4,000 volunteers over age 50 participated in the five-year study. The original formula had contained beta-carotene, and safety issues have surfaced about this nutrient in the years since the first study. So the scientists also tested the alternate carotenoids lutein and xeazanthin in place of beta-carotene. These seemed to work just as well, though that finding is based on analysis of a smaller group of patients in the study. It should be studied more thoroughly before lutein and xeazanthin are routinely included in supplements for slowing macular degeneration.

 [Journal of the American Medical Association, May 15, 2013]   

Rate this article
3- 1 rating
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.