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Nutrition and Your Eyes

OMEGA-3S FOR HEALTHY EYES

Most people don’t necessarily associate an eye doctor’s visit with a discussion about nutrition or supplements to maintain healthy vision, but at Moorestown Eye, you will get more than a “which is better, 1 or 2” type of eye exam. There are essential nutrients that your eyes need in order to function at their best and it is often difficult to get all those nutrients in a typical American diet. One of the most important essential nutrients for your eyes is Omega-3s.

ABOUT OMEGA-3S

Most frequently our doctors will recommend a particular form of omega-3 fatty acids to maintain ocular surface or retinal health. But, all omega-3 fatty acids are not created equal! Omega-3s are essential nutrients which means our body can not manufacture them; we must get them through food and since we can’t store them we must get them consistently.

The problem is that as our food sources have been modified to extend shelf life, improve taste, and reduce costs; a lot of the healthy omega-3s (which come from marine sources) have been stripped out. Even if you eat wholefoods or organic diet, it is very difficult to get enough omega-3s through diet alone. As a result, omega-3 supplementation for eye health is vitally important!

However, with so many products on the market, how does one know which form, ratio and dosage of omega-3s is needed for different eye health issues? Let us explain!

FOR DRY EYE DISEASE

The correct form:

  • Re-esterified triglyceride (rTG). This form is the most digestible, does not create fish burps or aftertaste, does not interact with other medications, and is cleaned of impurities.

The correct ratio:

  • Omega-3s come in many forms which includes ALA, EPA, and DHA. For dry eye disease, the most effective formula contains a 3:1 ratio of EPA: DHA.

The correct dosage:

  • At least 2 grams of EPA and DHA combined.

This form, ratio, and dosage described above is not available through the typical fish oils you see at the drug store or online. There really is a difference!

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FOR MACULAR DEGENERATION

The correct form:

  • Re-esterified triglyceride (rTG). This form is the most digestible, does not create fish burps or aftertaste, does not interact with other medications, and is cleaned of impurities.

The correct ratio:

  • Omega-3s come in many forms which includes ALA, EPA, and DHA. For macular health, you want a formula with a higher level of DHA.

The correct dosage:

  • At least 1 gram of DHA.

This form, ratio, and dosage described above is not available through the typical fish oils you see at the drug store or online. There really is a difference!

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You do have to be consistent and use them long term, but as an essential nutrient, your body needs them for cardiovascular health and anti-inflammatory properties as well.

What else? In addition to omega-3s, we know that lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins B 6, 9, &12 have been clinically proven to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

FOR DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

The correct form:

  • Re-esterified triglyceride (rTG). This form is the most digestible, does not create fish burps or aftertaste, does not interact with other medications, and is cleaned of impurities.

The correct ratio:

  • Omega-3s come in many forms which includes ALA, EPA, and DHA. For diabetic eye health, the most effective formula contains a 1:5 ratio of EPA to DHA.

The correct dosage:

  • 1200mg which contains 1000mg of DHA and 200mg of EPA

This form, ratio, and dosage described above is not available through the typical fish oils you see at the drug store or online. There really is a difference!

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You do have to be consistent and use them long term, but as an essential nutrient your body needs them for cardiovascular health and anti-inflammatory properties as well.