In 2001, researchers with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) reported that a nutritional supplement called the AREDS formulation can reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The original AREDS formula contains vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper. The main conclusion of the study was that supplementation with the AREDS formulation decreases the rate of progression to advanced AMD by 25% at 5 years.

In 2006, researchers began a second study called AREDS2 to see if they could improve on the original AREDS formulation. They investigated the addition of omega-3 fatty acids as well as the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The AREDS2 study found that omega-3 fatty acids did not have any beneficial effect. Lutein and zeaxanthin appeared to be a safe and effective alternative to beta-carotene, which is known to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

The current recommended AREDS2 formulation is:

  • Copper 2 mg
  • Lutein 10 mg
  • Zeaxanthin 2 mg
  • Vitamin C 500 mg
  • Vitamin E 400 IU
  • Zinc 80 mg

Where can I get more information?

[bsf-info-box icon=”Defaults-info-circle” icon_size=”20″ icon_color=”#001b75″ title=”National Eye Institute”]National Eye InstituteMore information on AREDS is available from the National Eye Institute,[/bsf-info-box][bsf-info-box icon=”Defaults-info-circle” icon_size=”20″ icon_color=”#001b75″ title=”American Academy of Ophthalmology’s”]You can also get trustworthy information from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s partner Website:[/bsf-info-box]