Given the considerable public health burden imposed by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), much effort has been directed towards elucidating principles of pathogenesis in order to identify risk factors and develop preventive measures and treatments. Together with epidemiological evidence linking cardiovascular risk factors with AMD risk and basic science work examining the role of lipid metabolism in AMD, numerous human studies have assayed a potential relationship between dietary lipids and the development of AMD. We examine the evidence for a role for lipid metabolism in AMD, highlighting key basic biochemical principles, work in animal models, and relevant human studies. The topics of lipoprotein modulation and omega-3 fatty acid intake receive special attention from both a basic science and clinical study standpoint. The evidence suggests that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, perhaps in concert with antioxidants, may constitute a rational preventative strategy against AMD development, though, absent an appropriately developed double-blind, randomized control trial, insufficient data exist to recommend implementation in the clinical setting at this time.
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Docosahexaenoic acid
- Eicosapentaenoic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas