Eating Oily Fish May Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy

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Patients with type 2 diabetes who eat 2 servings of fatty fish weekly may have a lower risk for diabetic retinopathy.
Patients with type 2 diabetes who eat 2 servings of fatty fish weekly may have a lower risk for diabetic retinopathy.

(HealthDay News) — For patients with diabetes, 2 servings of fatty fish a week may be enough to lower their risk of diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Aleix Sala-Vila, PhD, of the Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues focused on participants who were drawn from an earlier trial that had divided Spanish residents with type 2 diabetes into 3 different groups, each assigned to a different diet. The first followed a low-fat diet. The second followed a Mediterranean (plant-based/red meat-free) diet, supplemented with extra virgin olive oil. And the third also followed a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with nuts. The team found that it was the individuals in the second group who saw their vision risks fall.

Working with the same pool of participants, Dr Sala-Vila's team then asked 3614 men and women with diabetes between the ages of 55 and 80 to report how often they consumed 8 types of seafood before embarking on their assigned diets. Once they began their diets, their seafood consumption habits were tracked for nearly 5 years.

The researchers found that those who routinely consumed 500 mg a day of omega-3 fatty acid in their diets (equal to 2 servings of fatty fish per week) were 48% less likely to develop incident sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy than those who consumed less.

Disclosures: Two authors disclosed financial ties to the International Nut Council and the California Walnut Commission.

Reference

  1. Sala-Vila A, Díaz-López A, Valls-Pedret C, et al; Dietary Marine ω-3 Fatty Acids and Incident Sight-Threatening Retinopathy in Middle-Aged and Older Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: Prospective Investigation From the PREDIMED Trialfor the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) Investigators. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.2906.
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