New Omega-3 Supplement Might Prevent Loss of Sight

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We know very well the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. They prevent heart conditions, arthritis, and cancers. But they also have a role to play in vision. Many health conditions accompany the loss of sight. Visual impairment has grave consequences for affected individuals in their activities of daily living. They become less independent and have occupational, social, and personal difficulties.

We rely mostly on our diet for this nutrient because the human body cannot make as much as it needs. We usually take supplements when this is the case with most other nutrients. But omega-3 fatty acid supplements are a little more complicated.

These supplements have a difficult time crossing the intestinal and blood-retinal barrier. This means even if you take an omega-3 supplement, your body might not absorb it. Omega-3 levels thus fall, and our vision is thus deprived of their benefits. However, recent advances have created a solution for this issue. A new form of DHA has been created that can cross through the intestinal barrier and into the retina.

The New DHA and Its Benefits

While the health benefits remain the same, something fundamental has made the new DHA much more effective. The lysophospholipid DHA or LPC-DHA allows the molecule to penetrate the intestinal and the blood-retina barrier.

This was tested on mice exposed to low doses for 6 months. At the end of the half year, the researchers found a 100% increase in the amount of DHA found in the genes of these mice. This was a significantly higher amount than supplements like fish or krill oil can result in.

As a possible cascading effect, there was a 96% increase in retinal DHA. The retinal structure and function had also improved from getting the adequate amount of supplement it needed, which wasn’t observed with previous DHA supplements in the market.

But are these results replicable in humans? That’s still inconclusive. Human trials are needed to conclusively determine whether the alteration to the molecule improves the prognosis of conditions resulting in visual impairment.

Alzheimer’s and Visual Decline

Visual decline can happen due to multiple reasons. Age-related macular degeneration affects a large population of late adults. But did you know retinopathy can also be a result of diabetes? And often overlooked is its association with Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that first shows memory issues as symptoms. This form of dementia is progressive and irreversible, eventually affecting our visual functions. DHA levels are found to be low in individuals with Alzheimer’s and may explain why many of them struggle with visual impairments.

Could this new supplement prevent this impairment in people with these clinical conditions? Alzheimer’s is much more complicated since amyloid plaques and tau tangles cause neuronal communication interruptions, which might cause visual impairments. But the DHA supplement may delay the onset of visual difficulties, allowing individuals to adapt better to their condition.

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