The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 2 was just published. The initial AREDS research looked at the daily doses of vitamins E and C, along with beta-carotene, zinc and cooper to diminish progression to advanced Acute Macular Degeneration. Safety of some ingredients of the combination was later questioned based on other research. AREDS2 evaluated if addition of fish oil, lutein, zeaxanthin, as well as removal of beta-carotene, zinc and copper will improve the combination. More than 4000 patients ages 50-85 participated. Combination of AREDS supplements appeared to be protective against advanced AMD. Omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene did not reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD, but substitution of lutein and zeaxanthin for beta-carotene was a positive move. None of the groups with new formulations had reduced risk of progression to cataract surgery, but those taking lutein and zeaxanthin had some protection. What are your thoughts about the results of this research? What other recommendations do you make to your patients?
To learn more about this research, please see National Institutes of Health.