Fish Oil (2003) and Dry Eye Syndrome

In a 2003 study, women with a higher dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids were at decreased risk of developing dry eye syndrome (DES).

The Women's Health Study collected dietary information and whether they suffered from dry eye syndrome from 32,470 female health professionals who were aged between 45 and 84 years.

The researchers found that the greater the dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids the less the risk of DES, after adjustments for age, other demographic factors, postmenopausal hormone therapy, and total fat intake. Tuna fish consumption also had a protective effect against DES, and results were similar in other models after adjustments for diabetes, hypertension, and connective tissue diseases.

"Although this is the first study that has evaluated this relationship, and confirmation from other studies is needed, the findings are consistent with clinical observations and postulated biological mechanisms," the authors wrote. "Thus, further research on the role of omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention and/or treatment of DES would be of interest."

Advanced Vision Research, Inc., supported this study and has financial arrangements with its authors.

K. A. Trivedi and colleagues from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts
ARVO 2003 Annual Meeting: Abstract 811/B786, presented May 4, 2003; abstracts 2111 and 2112, presented May 6, 2003.