Thursday, August 02, 2007

Children Born with Blindness Could be Protected Through Proper Diet of Mother

The children’s eyes are vulnerable for damage because of the vessel growth in the eye. Children who are at risk for vision loss could be protected through proper diet.

The children get their diet from mother. So the diet of mother is essential for controlling the damaging vessel growth in the eyes of the children. A study revealed that the omega-3 fatty acids have beneficial effects on the eyes. Currently this study is done in mice. The Children’s Hospital at Boston has plans to test it on children.

There are three reasons for blindness. One is the abnormal vessel growth in the eyes of premature babies. The others are adult diabetic retinopathy and wet age-related macular degeneration. The retina is affected when a child is affected with retinopathy. Thousands of children are affected with retinopathy every year. The retina, which sends visual signals to the brain, is an essential part for a functioning eye. The disease begins with the loss of blood vessels in the retina. Because of this the retina starts growing new vessels to avoid the deficiency of oxygen to it. These may grow abnormally, and overabundant. They malfunction and lead to blindness.

The only solution that is found for this is the omega-3 fatty acids containing DHA and EPA acids. These are present very less in the children. There is also omega-6 fatty acid which actually increases the vessel growth. Hence a balanced ratio of these two acids needs to be maintained through diet. The research found that many children have lesser omega-3 fatty acids compared to omega-6 acids. Hence fish-oil supplements are required in the diet of the child. As this problem occurs especially in premature infants the diet of mother needs to be enriched with fish-oil supplements.

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