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Your Guide to the AREDS2 Study on Lutein and Zeaxanthin Benefits in AMD

AREDS2 stands for the second phase of the Age Related Eye Disease Study which explores the benefits of taking certain supplements to slow down the progression of AMD. Learn more about how you can prevent future damage to your vision due to AMD.

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AREDS2 Study on Lutein and Zeaxanthin

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.

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AREDS1 vs AREDS2

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.

Benefits of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Benefits of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

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.

Final Formula for the AREDS2 Supplement

Final Formula for the AREDS2 Supplement

The final contents of the supplement established from AREDS2 are:

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

Vitamins don't necessarily prevent the eye disease, but the AREDS2 supplement has proven to decrease the progress of intermediate to advanced AMD and can delay vision loss. Those who participated in the clinical trial for AREDS have been followed for over ten years and over this time the benefits have continued to be profound.
The answer is no. The contents of the AREDS2 supplement contain a much greater dose of the specific ingredients that contribute to eye health than those found in multivitamins. There is a proven benefit in taking the AREDS2 formula for slowing down the progression of AMD and this provides many more advantages than taking a multivitamin.
While eating food containing these nutrients does provide benefits to your eyes, it is not comparable to the same extent of the advantages that the AREDS2 formula has to offer. The supplement contains much higher doses of these nutrients than what one would ingest from food. The AREDS2 supplement consists of specific amounts of ingredients that have been studied and measured to an exact dose in order to provide the benefits of slowing down the progression of AMD.
The Age Related Eye Disease Study 2 also known as AREDS2, is a revolutionary study that definitively demonstrated that dietary supplements were shown to slow age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Researchers concluded at the end of the five-year AREDS2 study that lutein and zeaxanthin don't increase lung cancer risk, and the new formulation can reduce AMD progression by about 26%. It is recommended to take 10 mg/day of lutein and 2 mg/day of zeaxanthin to improve eye health. Our optometrists recommend taking AREDS2 vitamins for any patient with a higher risk profile of macular degeneration or early stages of macular degeneration. While these supplements do not prevent macular degeneration, their demonstrated efficacy at reducing the risk of progression is extremely important in preventing the leading cause of permanent vision loss for those over 50.
Your Guide to the AREDS2 Study on Lutein and Zeaxanthin Benefits in AMD
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Summary

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 consult with your eye doctor to find out if this supplement is right for you.

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