June 17, 2014

Omega-3 Inhibits Retinal Blood Vessel Growth

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Omega-3 Inhibits Retinal Blood Vessel Growth

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School and other institutions have demonstrated for the first time that the omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs), DHA and EPA, can inhibit choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Their findings will be published in PNAS Online Early Edition the week of June 16-20, 2014.
“These are the first results showing that omega-3 can regulate [vessel growth in live subjects],” said Kip Connor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and senior author of the paper.
Researchers fed mice one of three experimental diets beginning two weeks before CNV was induced. The experimental diets were enriched with either omega-3 or omega-6 in the experimental groups and no such supplementation in the control group. The lesion size and vascular leakage were significantly smaller in animals fed with omega-3. Their findings show promising therapeutic potential in AMD disease resolution.
“Given the prevalence of neovascular eye disease, the potential impact of this study is highly significant. [Through this research] we have identified unique endogenous lipid biometabolites that are able to inhibit [retinal blood vessel growth], a major driver of vision loss worldwide. It is our hope that future studies will allow us to develop specific therapeutics that harness this knowledge resulting in a greater visual outcome and quality of life for patients suffering from these sight threatening diseases,” Dr. Connor said.
For more detail about the research methodology, read the original press release.

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