Age Related Macular Degeneration is a common eye condition in people aged 65 and older and it can cause vision loss if not properly treated. Thankfully there are certain precautions that can be taken to slow down and prevent damage to one’s eyesight.
A five year study called AREDS2, an acronym for Age Related Eye Disease Study, culminated in 2011, following the first phase of the study known as AREDS1. The purpose of this was to research the efficacy of taking supplements to lower the risk of developing advanced macular degeneration, a disease that causes loss of central vision in senior citizens. This clinical trial was sponsored by the National Eye Institute and set out with the goal of assessing the effects of intake of high doses of antioxidants and zinc on the progression of AMD. The results of the AREDS study proved that taking high amounts of antioxidants and zinc can reduce many people's risk of developing advanced macular degeneration by 25%. The supplement benefited people with intermediate or late stages of AMD.
The original combination of vitamins which comprised the AREDS1 clinical trial included beta-carotene. This ingredient proved to cause a higher risk of lung cancer in smokers or in people who used to smoke. It is important to note that smoking can cause the damage from AMD to be significantly worse and therefore it is strongly recommended to stop smoking. AREDS2 removed beta-carotene from the supplement ingredient list and instead added two powerful antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, which proved to be more appropriate for this supplement.
Lutein and zeaxanthin provide the same effect as beta-carotene on decreasing the progression of AMD while simultaneously preventing the increased risk for smokers to develop lung cancer. As well, the additional lutein and zeaxanthin provide great benefits to those who don't receive these nutrients from their daily diet.The main food that contains lutein and zeaxanthin are dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
These two antioxidants protect your body from free radicals which are unstable molecules that can damage your cells and lead to disease. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect your eyes from harmful high energy waves, such as ultraviolet from the strong sun.
The final contents of the supplement established from AREDS2 are:
The AREDS2 clinical trial provided very valuable information. It is wonderful that there are readily available supplements that can reduce the risk of AMD causing vision loss. Please don’t hesitate to Book an Appointment at our office to consult with the eye doctor to find out if this supplement is right for you.