Omega-6/Omega-3 Imbalance and AMD

Omega-6/Omega-3 Imbalance and AMD


Appropriate diet is essential for the regulation of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In particular the type of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and poor antioxidant status including carotenoid levels concomitantly contribute to AMD risk. Build-up of oxidative stress in AMD induces PUFA oxidation, and a mix of lipid oxidation products (LOPs) are generated. However, LOPs are not comprehensively evaluated in AMD. LOPs are considered biomarkers of oxidative stress but also contributes to inflammatory response. In this cross-sectional case-control study, plasma omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratios and antioxidant status (glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase), and plasma and urinary LOPs (41 types) were determined to evaluate its odds-ratio in the risk of developing exudative AMD (n = 99) compared to age-gender-matched healthy controls (n = 198) in adults with Chinese diet. The odds ratio of developing exudative AMD increased with LOPs from omega-6 PUFA and decreased from those of omega-3 PUFA. These observations were associated with a high plasma omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio and low carotenoid levels. In short, poor PUFA and antioxidant status increased the production of omega-6 PUFA LOPs such as dihomo-isoprostane and dihomo-isofuran, and lowered omega-3 PUFA LOPs such as neuroprostanes due to the high omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratios; they were also correlated to the risk of AMD development. These findings indicate the generation of specific LOPs is associated with the development of exudative AMD.

Graphical abstract

Image 1


Macular degeneration
Omega-6/omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio
Lipid peroxidation

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