DHA (2012-13) and choroidal neovascularization


Learn more about choroidal neovascularization.

These studies looked at omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and its effect on protection against macular degeneration.

DHA is concentrated in the retina of the eye and is modestly inversely related to AMD. The intake of fish, the food source of DHA, was also inversely related, with participants eating more fish having a lower rate of macular degeneration incidence.


Researchers found that DHA could help prevent more advanced forms of retinal problems.

It is well known that the proper functioning of the retina gets worse with age. A substance, known as A2E, a component of the toxic material lipofuscin, accumulates in retinal pigment cells. Researchers analyzed the effect of giving DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)supplements to mice who had A2E in the cells of their retinas. This done of periods ranging from 1 to 18 months, and took into account the proportion of DHA versus fatty acids, and diets without DHA.

The scientists found that A2E accumulations were reduced, and was tied to better retina functioning for mice who already had retina degeneration, and slowed this limitation for mice with more advanced retina problems.

They concluded that DHA in the diet could have a broad preventative therapeutic effect.

Researchers: Blake Dornstauder, et al
Published: Investigations in Ophthalmology and Visual Science, April, 2012

2013 A randomized and double-blind research study assessed the effectiveness of DHA in preventing advanced, or wet, macular degeneration in which additional blood vessels grow behind the macula, forcing distortion. Over a three year period 55 to 85 year old patients who had early lesions of wet macular degeneration were given 840mg daily DHA and 270mg daily EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), or an olive oil placebo.

The scientists found that wet macular degeneration incidence was markedly reduced in the patients who received DHA over the period, and who also showed a continued high EPA plus DHA index during that time.

Researchers: E.H.Souied, C. Delcourt, et al.
Published: Oral docosahexaenoic acid in the prevention of exudative age-related macular degeneration: The Nutritional AMD Treatment 2 Study Ophthalmology February, 2013.