If you are a patient with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), or you know someone who is affected, you may have wondered if daily supplements really help. Can a vitamin formula slow the progression of vision loss caused by AMD? The National Eye Institute (NEI) says Yes. Upon completion of a 10-year follow-on study, the NEI reaffirms its recommendation of the nutrient formula, known as AREDS2, confirming it continues to deliver positive results in slowing the progression of vision loss in patients with moderate to advanced AMD. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of central vision loss in people over age 50. As the disease progresses it can seriously impair a person’s ability to read, recognize faces or drive.
The NEI has been looking at the effects of supplemental nutrients on AMD for 20 years now. The specific mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants originated in the 2001 Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) which focused on a combination of antioxidants and zinc. In the second study, AREDS2, which was completed in 2012, the NEI tested changes to the formulation, including the addition of omega-3 fatty acids, substituting lutein and zeaxanthin for beta-carotene, and reducing zinc. The formulation included in the 2012 study is the AREDS2 formula this long-term study was based on.
The formulation is the same combination found in PreserVision AREDS2 eye vitamins by Bausch & Lomb. which was provided to participants during the last 5-years of this study. The daily dose contains the recommended levels of all six clinically proven nutrients: vitamin C (500mg), vitamin E (400 IU/180mg), lutein (10mg), zeaxanthin (2mg), zinc (80mg zinc oxide), and copper (2mg cupric oxide). The AMD nutrient formula can also be found in other brands including: I-Caps AREDS 2 (Alcon), Eyepex Macula (Eyepex Formulas) or MacularProtect Complete AREDS2.
The AREDS2 vitamins are formulated exclusively for AMD patients with moderate to advanced disease. Consult your doctor before taking these supplements. Keep in mind, vitamin supplements are not a replacement for good nutrition, your diet should be rich in all these nutrients to derive best results. Read about the incomparable benefits of a healthy fresh Mediterranean diet in The Anti-AMD Diet. And remember it’s also important to maintain a healthy weight, protect your eyes from the sun and do not smoke!