Omega 3 and eye disease

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Omega 3 and eye disease

Postby Linnéa76 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:08 pm

I just read this article which was quite informative: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/omega3

To sum up, the ALA you get from 1,5-2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil per day is converted to sufficient levels of EPA and DHA provided the intake of omega-6 is low. This amount of ALA could also protect against heart disease. But, in a few studies a high intake of ALA was associated with a higher prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and higher lens opacity, which can lead to cataracts. The subjects were omnivores and one can suspect that some of that ALA had been heated. Whether unheated ALA could have a harmful effect on vegans is unknown (and will probably remain unknown since the effects show at an older age and there aren’t a lot of studies being made on old vegans). Therefore, the author suggests we take algae capsules for EPA and DHA and a smaller amount of flaxseed oil for the ALA.

In the said studies, the increase in risk of eye disease was about 50-100%. I looked at some prevalence statistics and it seems they are quite rare before the age of 65, but increase dramatically after 70 so that roughly 30% of the “old-old” are affected. If the risk was raised with 50-100% it could mean that around 45-60% would be affected. Cataract can be treated, but for AMD there isn't really any cure.

Would this make you adjust your intake of omega-3? Does anyone interpret the article differently than I did?
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Re: Omega 3 and eye disease

Postby chewybaws » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:06 pm

I have no idea what my ratios are between different fats.

I have about 3tsp of an omega oil mix a day
http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-loc ... 260ml.html

And also about 300g of seeds (flax/pumpkin/sunflower).

Also 10g of coconut oil.

Then fat from other foods as well. It's a lot of fat, never really thought that it could be dangerous before.
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Re: Omega 3 and eye disease

Postby Linnéa76 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:38 pm

If I rephrase it like this: Your flaxseed oil is said to cover your omega 3-needs but is also accused of harming your eyes.

Discuss?
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Re: Omega 3 and eye disease

Postby beforewisdom » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:59 pm

Flax oil may be a different issue, but people have been eating flax seeds for centuries and there is equally old folklore about how healthy flax seeds are to eat. Given that I wouldn't worry about one study.

It would be like getting excited about the health benefits of tea or getting worried about reports of tea containing aluminum. Both sets of reports fade in luster once you remind yourself that billions of people have been drinking tea for centuries getting neither the miraculous health benefits or the alarmist problems.
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Re: Omega 3 and eye disease

Postby Linnéa76 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:16 pm

[quote="beforewisdom"]Flax oil may be a different issue, but people have been eating flax seeds for centuries and there is equally old folklore about how healthy flax seeds are to eat. Given that I wouldn't worry about one study.

It would be like getting excited about the health benefits of tea or getting worried about reports of tea containing aluminum. Both sets of reports fade in luster once you remind yourself that billions of people have been drinking tea for centuries getting neither the miraculous health benefits or the alarmist problems.

I'm not all that worried, there were some reasons to believe it may not apply to vegans. It wasn't just one study though,
but several showing that those with the highest ALA-intake had more eye pathologies. Also, people may have been eating flaxseeds for centuries but maybe not as their primary source of EPA and DHA?

[quote="lifer"]Great article, but maybe sometimes is better to go to the doctor and see what's happening.

Hmm, I think these diseases take decades to develop though. If a doctor can diagnose them the damage is already done.
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Re: Omega 3 and eye disease

Postby vegimator » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:45 pm

I'm not too worried and neither is Jack Norris, the author of veganhealth.org. He still eats flax.
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