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High Omega-3 Boosts Vitamin A Effect in Retinitis Pigmentosa & Macular Degeneration

A recent study posted in Archives of Ophthalmology on February 13th, 2012 showed that nutritional intake of Vitamin A and Omega 3 can help reduce vision loss in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

is a rare inherited disorder of the rod cells in the retina.  It is slow degenerative process that eventually leads to blindness. Symptoms start at childhood with night blindness.  A visual field test should be obtained if the condition is suspected.  RP occurs in 1 of 4,000 individuals in the US.  There is no cure for the disease but there are some treatments that may slow the progression.  The Argus II retinal prosthesis system is a wearable video system that can help patients blinded by RP or other retinal degenerations.  There are also retinal implants and electrical stimulation therapy.  Highly consider interventions with occupational therapy to help patients manage life changes.  Low vision evaluation and devices are also necessary in managing vision loss from RP.  Supplements such as Vitamin A and Omega 3’s can help retain vision in RP patients.

Dietary intake of Omega 3 Fatty acids in the form of salmon, tuna and mackerel will provide more DHA and EPA than supplemented foods.  Retinal cells need Vitamin A to stay healthy.  Omega 3 has been shown to be the transport system that brings Vitamin A to the Retinal cells.  Study shows that RP patients can take up to 15,000 IU/day dose with no toxicity over 25 years.  Pregnant women should not take more than 10,00 IU/day dose.

High dose Omega 3 can also help in patients with Macular Degeneration. Our office recommends 2,000 mg of Fish Oils which will provide at least 650mg EPA and 350mg DHA.

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