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Dietary Intake of Omega-6 Fatty Acids May Protect Against Development of Cataracts

In a prospective study involving 12,308 men and women, initially free of cataracts, results indicate that dietary intake of fatty acids, particularly omega-6 fatty acids, may be inversely associated with risk of developing cataracts. Fatty acids intake was assessed using a validated 136-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. During a follow up of up to 6 years, 182 incident cases of cataracts were recorded. After adjusting for confounders, the highest category of dietary intake of omega-6 fatty acids was associated with a 42% reduced risk of cataracts. Similarly, the highest category of dietary intake of fatty acids (saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated omega-6 and polyunsaturated omega-3) was associated with a 46% reduced risk of development of cataracts. Thus, the authors of this study conclude, 'High intake of omega-6 fatty acids showed a modest but significant inverse association with the development of cataracts.   Reference:    '[Dietary fat intake and incidence of cataracts: The SUN Prospective study in the cohort of Navarra, Spain], Martinez-Lapiscina EH, Moreno-Montanes J, et al, Med Clin (Barc), 2010 Jan 5.
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