Study Says Fatty Fish Can Reduce Diabetic Eye Risks

People with diabetes are well-aware of the risks their condition poses to the rest of their bodies. The potential for amputation is high. The risk for heart disease increases. Even your five senses face potential damage.

But according to a new study, one simple adjustment to your diet could lower one of these risks: the risk of retinopathy and vision loss.

A Study in Spain

The study, lead by Aleix Sala-Vila at the Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Redin Barcelona, tracked the eating habits of 3,600 men and women with type 2 diabetes over the course of five years. Researchers asked their subjects to report how often they partook of eight different kinds of fish during this time – particularly fatty and oil varieties.

Their results, according to a report from HealthDay, seem impossible to ignore:

“The team found that those who routinely consumed 500 milligrams (mg) a day of omega-3 fatty acid in their diets (equal to two servings of fatty fish per week) were 48 percent less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than those who consumed less.”

Fish and The Diabetic's Diet

Sala-Vila's teams' findings might not be much of a surprise to the medical community. The benefits diabetics can glean from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (usually through supplements like fish oil) have been lauded for years.

However, it bears repeating that the specific benefits of eating oily fish twice a week can do untold good for the retina, which is rich in those omega-3s the fish provide.

"Including omega-3 rich foods in your daily diet is the best place to start, as supplements rarely make up for a poor underlying diet," says Lona Sandon, an assistant professor in the department of clinical nutrition with the school of health professions at UT Southwestern in Dallas. "Also, the foods rich in omega-3s are also rich in other key nutrients that promote health such as vitamin E [walnuts] and protein [salmon, tuna]."

So when you decide what to enjoy for your next meal, consider some seafood. Your eyes will thank you.

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