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Vitamin A Plus High Omega-3 Slows Vision Loss from Retinitis Pigmentosa

  [ 1 vote ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • February 17, 2013

You may read the full text of this article HERE.


?-3 intake and visual acuity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa receiving vitamin A.
– Source: Archives of Ophthalmology, June 2012

By E.L. Berson, et al.


To evaluate whether a diet high in long chain ?-3 fatty acids can slow the rate of visual acuity loss among patients with retinitis pigmentosa receiving vitamin A palmitate.

METHODS: We calculated dietary intake from questionnaires completed annually by 357 adult patients from 3 randomized trials who were all receiving vitamin A, 15 000 IU/d, for 4 to 6 years. Rates of visual acuity decline were compared between those with high (?0.20 g/d) vs low (<0.20 g/d) ?-3 intake. Analyses took age into account.

RESULTS: Mean rates of decline of acuity were slower among those with high ?-3 intake:

  • Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study distance acuity: high intake=0.59 letter per year, low intake=1.00 letter per year,P=.001;

  • Snellen retinal acuity: high intake=1.5% per year, low intake=2.8% per year, P=.03.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that mean annual rates of decline in distance and retinal visual acuities in adults with retinitis pigmentosa receiving vitamin A, 15 000 IU/d, are slower over 4 to 6 years among those consuming a diet rich in ?-3 fatty acids. To our knowledge, this is the first report that nutritional intake can modify the rate of decline of visual acuity in retinitis pigmentosa.

Archives of Ophthalmology, June 2012. By E.L. Berson, B. Rosner, M.A. Sandberg, C. Weigel-DiFranco and W.C. Willett. E-mail:

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