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Eating Fish Could Improve Eyesight

March 8, 2009

Remember when mother told you to eat your carrots because they're good for your eyes? That's really a medical myth.

But some scientists believe that vitamins, minerals, and even fish might help prevent blindness.

Royal Collette has one of the most common diseases that can lead to blindness.

"My doctor, ophthalmologist, said I had macular degeneration. I'd never heard of the term," he said.

Age-related macular degeneration affects the central vision. Over time, everything becomes a blur.

"The disease is relentless. If we can prevent the end stage from happening, you are much better off," said Dr. Emily Chew, who is heading up a study at the national eye institute to see if vitamins, minerals, and fish oil can slow down the disease.

Previous research showed that vitamins and minerals might reduce the risk of blindness from the disease.

The study found people who ate more than a serving of fish a week had a lower risk of macular degeneration than those who rarely ate it.

"Same with lutene," said Chew. "You see it in green leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, collard greens."

Collette has signed up for the new study with hopes it'll make a difference.

"If you can contribute to whatever advancement they're developing, why shouldn't I? I think it's a great opportunity," he said.

In Illinois, similar studies are being done at the University of Chicago.


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