At the top of the list of popular supplements, fish oil has earned the number one position according to a 2011 online survey. The survey showed that 75.7 percent of respondents used fish oil supplements, making it the most popular supplement for the second consecutive year.1 Reliable research has already substantiated the many benefits of fish oil, which explains why health and consumer demand for fish oil supplements is constantly on the rise. With new research revealing more benefits of its star components, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), supplement business owners are busy seeking the manufacturing services of high-quality fish oil manufacturers to meet this ever-increasing demand.
In addition to supporting heart health and the other more well-known benefits derived from omega-3 intake, researchers have been studying the effects of EPA and DHA on age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects central vision and impairs the ability to see objects clearly and engage in common daily activities such as reading and driving. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss amongst Americans 60 years or older, but it may occur during middle age. Presently, AMD affects more than 10 million Americans. According to the National Eye Institute, about 7 million Americans are at risk of severe vision loss from AMD.2
How Age Affects the Macula
The macula is part of the retina, located in the center and is made up cells called rods and cones that are sensitive to light. The function of the macula is to sharpen vision. In order to function properly, the macula needs to receive nutrients from a layer of blood vessels just beneath the macula called choroids. As you get older the transportation of nutrients and waste to and from the macula is not as efficient and waste begins to build up in the macula. Due to lack of blood, the cells in the macula are damaged and begin to die, affecting vision.
There are two types of AMD. Wet AMD, also known as advanced AMD, occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start growing under the macula. Because these new blood vessels are so fragile, they easily burst and leak blood and fluid which dislocates the macula. With wet AMD, damage to the macula occurs quickly leading to loss of vision. About 90 percent of cases of severe vision loss can be attributed to wet AMD.
Dry AMD is the most common type affecting 85 percent of those with AMD. Cells in the macula begin to degenerate. Symptoms begin with initial blurring of vision, need for light when reading and difficulty recognizing faces. As the disease progresses to an advanced stage, central vision is gradually lost.
According to the National Institutes of Health, common risk factors of AMD include smoking, abdominal obesity, cardiovascular disease, family history and long-term exposure to sunlight. Race and gender may also raise the risk of AMD with Caucasians more likely to lose their vision than African Americans and more women than men at a greater risk of AMD.3
Research Suggesting Omega-3 Benefits for Protection against AMD
Consumer awareness and interest in nutritional supplements for eye health is on the rise especially amongst the elderly. Because fish oil has an unpleasant odor and taste, the most popular and practical delivery method used by fish oil manufacturers is gel encapsulation.
What High-Quality Fish Oil Manufacturers Can Do for You
Omega 3 supplements offer consumers a convenient, easy way of getting omega 3s into their diet regularly for protective benefits against AMD. It is a cost-efficient, nutritional therapy for those who want to maintain eye health. Quality fish oil manufacturers can help you manufacture a pure fish oil supplement or customize a formula consisting of well-researched nutrients that offer particular benefits for protection against age-related macular degeneration. For products that contain fish oil with a high level of purity and omega-3 concentration, it’s best to work with fish oil manufacturers who work within a GMP-certified facility.