Drusen & Yellow Fat Disease
Lipofuscin + Transition Metals = Double Trouble.
Excess omega 3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA, ALA, etc.) + transition metals (iron, copper, zinc, etc.) = accelerated aging.
Annika Höhn, Tobias Jung, Stefanie Grimm, & Tilman Grune (“Lipofuscin-bound iron is a major intracellular source of oxidants: Role in senescent cells,” Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Apr. 2010) wrote …
“Aging is accompanied by an intracellular accumulation of lipofuscin, a hydrophobic yellow-brownish material that accumulates especially in the lysosomal compartment, where it can be neither degraded nor exocytosed from the cell. The intracellular effects of accumulating lipofuscin are still a subject of speculation. In addition to the demonstrated inhibition of the proteasome, it was proposed that lipofuscin is cytotoxic because of its ability to incorporate transition metals such as copper and iron, resulting in a redox-active surface, able to catalyze the Fenton reaction. This characteristic of lipofuscin may contribute to an increased level of radical formation and oxidatively modified cellular components such as proteins, lipids, and RNA/DNA, which has been shown to be extensive in aging cells.”
What’s the Fenton reaction? It’s “a catalytic process that converts hydrogen peroxide, a product of mitochondrial oxidative respiration, into a highly toxic hydroxyl free radical.”
According to Master Eye Associates (locations in the Austin area), 2019 …
“Beginning essentially at birth and continuing throughout life, cells of the retinal pigment epithelium layer accumulate cell debris. The remaining damaged cells (called lipofuscin) from the oxidative stress accumulate in Bruch’s membrane and create drusen, which is the earliest visible sign of dry macular degeneration. The lipofuscin/drusen is a cluster of protein and oxidized lipids that do not degrade. It is possible that the oxidation induces inflammation that can continue to worsen the entire macular degeneration process.”
According to “Lipofuscin,” Wikipedia (last edited Jan. 19, 2019) …
“It appears to be the product of the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids and may be symptomatic of membrane damage, or damage to mitochondria and lysosomes. Aside from a large lipid content, lipofuscin is known to contain sugars and metals, including mercury, aluminium, iron, copper and zinc. Lipofuscin is also accepted as consisting of oxidized proteins (30–70%) as well as lipids (20–50%).”
Note that Wikipedia doesn’t identify the TYPE of unsaturated fatty acid.
Clue: It’s not omega 6 unsaturated fatty acid.