The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Omega-3 to treat dry eye

    dry eyeDry eye is a common complaint, but difficult to treat.

    Researchers from Aston University, in Birmingham, UK reviewed the evidence for omega-3.

    First, the details.

    A literature search was conducted using the terms ‘dry eye’, ‘essential fatty acids,’ and ‘nutrition’ to find articles relating to the treatment of dry eye syndrome with omega-3 essential fatty acids.

    And, the results.

    Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids must be consumed together in a reasonable ratio to be effective.

    Typical diets in developed countries lack omega-3 and this results in an overexposure to omega-6.

    Omega-3 also has anti-inflammatory action in the lacrimal gland (source of teats), which prevents death of the secretory cells.

    Supplementation with omega-3 permits development of a thinner, more elastic lipid layer to protect the tear film and cornea.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Evidence suggests that supplementation with omega-3 essential fatty acids may be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of dry eye syndrome.”

    Add dry eye to the list of conditions (lower triglycerides; slow the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques; lower blood pressure slightly; as well as reduce the risk of death, heart attack, and arrhythmias.) that benefit from omega-3.

    Studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acids may slow the progression of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.

    12/26/09 19:27 JR

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