The role of omega-3 and micronutrients in age-related macular degeneration

Surv Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep-Oct;59(5):532-9. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2014.01.001. Epub 2014 Jan 27.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the United States, Europe, and other developed countries. Although the pathogenesis of AMD remains unclear, current evidence suggests a multifactorial aetiology. Nutrition may play an important role in the development and progression of AMD. There have been several epidemiological studies suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids could have a protective role in AMD, but a beneficial effect remains to be demonstrated in randomized controlled trials. There also exists a substantial body of evidence suggesting that protection against AMD may be provided by specific micronutrients (vitamins and minerals and antioxidants). The identification of risk factors for the development and progression of AMD is of particular importance for understanding the origins of the disorder and for establishing strategies for its prevention. We examine the relationship between dietary omega-3 intake and the incidence and progression of AMD, as well as the role of omega-3 supplementation in the prevention of the disorder, and also explore the role of other micronutrients in AMD.

Keywords: age-related macular degeneration; docosahexaenoic acid; nutrition; omega-3; polyunsaturated fatty acid; supplementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lutein / administration & dosage
  • Macular Degeneration / prevention & control*
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Micronutrients / physiology*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage
  • Zeaxanthins / administration & dosage


  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Micronutrients
  • Vitamins
  • Zeaxanthins
  • Lutein