Science has found yet another health benefit of eating fatty fish – it may help fight age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). The top cause of severe vision loss and blindness in the elderly, ARMD has few treatments and no cure. Wet ARMD, the more severe type, is characterized by the growth of tiny blood vessels under the retina that leak blood and fluid. Research has discovered eating a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are plentiful in oily fish, reduced eye blood vessel abnormalities in mice with an ARMD-like disease.
Since ARMD is so prevalent, senior author Kip Connor, Ph.D., called the study’s impact “highly significant.” Encouragingly, the results not only show promise for ARMD but also for other diseases that involve abnormal blood vessel growth, such as cancer.
Omega-3 Metabolites Inhibit Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are DHA and EPA, and omega-6 fatty acids are both essential for a healthy diet, but they have opposing effects. In the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers evaluated the effects of these lipids on the growth of blood vessels in the eye. One group of mice was fed a diet enriched with omega-3s, another group was fed a diet enriched with omega-6s and a control group was fed a diet devoid of both types of fatty acids. All three groups were started on their respective diets two weeks before the scientists induced new blood vessel growth through laser photocoagulation.
The findings showed the growth of blood vessels and leakage was significantly smaller in the mice that were fed the diet with omega-3s. After analyzing their lipid profiles, specific metabolites of DHA and EPA were identified as being the agents that produced the benefits. These metabolites also suppressed inflammation, a condition thought to worsen the disease.
“Omega-3 fish fat soothes the arteries of the heart as well as the tiny arterioles that feed the eye,” says nutritionist and award-winning author Dr. Janet Brill. “This is one nutrient that should play a leading role in a diet geared towards healthy aging and chronic disease prevention.” She graciously shares the tuna recipe below with Live in the Now readers.
Dr. Janet’s Mediterranean Tuna Romesco
A meaty tuna steak topped with a fresh, spicy, almond-studded tomato sauce.
- Four 6-ounce tuna steaks
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 plum tomato, cut in half and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- Season tuna with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Chop the tomato roughly.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic and almonds, and sauté until the garlic turns golden but not too brown.
- Add the plum tomato, sun-dried tomato, roasted red pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Cook until the tomato is soft. Let cool.
- Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Remove to a bowl and stir in the vinegar and parsley.
- To cook the tuna, spray the fillets lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat a nonstick skillet or grill to high heat.
- Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side depending on thickness and desired degree of doneness.
Per 6-ounce tuna and 1/4 cup sauce:
- Calories: 285
- Fat: 10 g (< 1 g EPA, < 1 g DHA, • Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Cholesterol: 77 mg
- Sodium: 307 mg
- Carbohydrate: 6 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2 g
- Sugars: 2 g
- Protein: 43 g
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.