DHA and visual health

DHA is an essential nutrient for a proper functioning of visual cells (photoreceptors). The retina is like a ‘screen’ where images of what we see are reflected. In its most central area, there is a very small point called macula which is responsible for a good central vision. The macula is one of the body tissues which concentrate more DHA (> 50%). This shows how important DHA is for a healthy retina. In fact, numerous studies have highlight the important support that DHA offers in cases where there are retinal alterations (ie. macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa etc.).

A good eye ball lubrication is essential for a healthy eye. The most superficial layer of the eye tears is formed by a thin lipid film secreted by small oil glands located in the eyelids, which prevents the evaporation of the watery layer beneath it. Several studies have shown how important DHA is for the integrity of the lipid film and therefore prevent from surface eye problems (ie. dry eye).

Studies have also shown how DHA promotes the regeneration of corneal nerves. This is of great interest for an optimal recovery from corneal ulcers (‘ulcers in the white of the eye’).

  • Cortina MS, He J, Li N, Bazan NG, Bazan HE (2010) Neuroprotectin D1 synthesis and corneal nerve regeneration after experimental surgery and treatment with PEDF plus DHA. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 51(2):804-10
  • SanGiovanni JP, Chew EY (2005) The role of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in health and disease of the retina. Prog Retin Eye Res. 24(1):87-138
  • Souhied EH (2012) Nutritional Supplements and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Focus on omega-3 fatty acids. European Ophtalmic Review 6 (1): 43-7