So researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston looked for links between dry eye syndrome and diet among more than 32,000 women aged 45 to 84. Their results: those who consumed more omega-3 fats were 17 percent less likely to report the syndrome. In particular, women who ate seafood 2 to 4 times a week had a 42 percent lower risk than women who ate seafood less than twice a week.
In contrast, those who ate higher levels of omega-6 fats and lower levels of omega-3s were 2 1/2 times more likely to have dry eyes. (We get omega-6 fats from the soybean and other oils in mayonnaise, salad dressings, fried foods, baked goods, and dozens of other foods.)
Omega-3 fats may ward off dry eye syndrome by curbing inflammation in the tear gland and eye surface, say researchers.
What to do: If you have dry eye syndrome, try eating more seafood. Although this study found the lowest risk of dry eyes in women who ate tuna 5 or 6 times a week, you're safer with salmon or other fatty fish that are lower in mercury. You can also curb your omega-6 intake by switching from soybean or corn oil to canola or olive oil (see "ALA Carte," p. 8).
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82: 887, 2005.
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|Title Annotation:||omega-3 fats|
|Publication:||Nutrition Action Healthletter|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2005|
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