Flaxseed and other plant-based foods contain omega-3 fatty acids that may be helpful in the treatment of macular degeneration (along with the heart benefits of the Omega-3 supplements).  However, flaxseed contains mainly the ALA fatty acid … not the EPA and DHA that are being studied in the AREDS2 Study.  For the prevention of macular degeneration, traditional fish oils are probably better … with flaxseed reserved for vegetarians and people allergic to fish. Those limitations aside, flaxseed fatty acids may be good for oil flow and so may be helpful for the meibomian gland dysfunction of blepharitis.  Ground flaxseed is good; however, flaxseed oil can go rancid quickly (there is some question in the literature as to whether the oil can increase men’s risk of prostate cancer).

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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