Publication Details

Flood, V. M. & Mitchell, P. 2008, 'Dietary fatty acids and age-related macular degeneration', Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 42-43.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness among older people. It is important to identify modifiable risk factors which could prevent or slow the progression of this chronic disease. Dietary fatty acid intakes have been investigated in epidemiological studies as it is plausible that individual lipids have properties which modulate cellular damage in the eye. This paper reviews epidemiological studies investigating links between fatty acids and AMD. Mixed evidence has related the sub-types of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids to AMD, but nearly all epidemiological studies have demonstrated some level of AMD protection from omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (particularly long-chain fatty acids) and fish, with a tendency for a corresponding dampening effect with increased dietary omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.