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Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, called “AREDS” for short, was a major landmark medical study sponsored by the National Eye Institute, one of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health. It closely followed about 3,600 participants with varying stages of AMD to see if taking high levels of antioxidant vitamins and zinc over a long period could reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD.

The landmark AREDS study showed that patients diagnosed with moderate to advanced AMD who are most at risk for progression to advanced disease decreased that risk by 25% and reduced the risk of AMD-associated vision loss by 19% by taking a high-potency antioxidant and mineral supplement every day.

AREDS 1 Formula

  • 500 mg vitamin C
  • 400 (IU) vitamin E
  • 15 mg of beta carotene
  • 80 mg of zinc
  • 2 mg of copper

Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2)

Emerging scientific research suggests that there may be other nutrients that may also have a protective effect in AMD. These new nutrients are lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids. When AREDS was started, lutein and zeaxanthin were not readily available, so they were not tested in the study. Now, many researchers believe that lutein and zeaxanthin may be more significant for macular health.

A second nationwide study is currently underway called AREDS2. This is being conducted to determine whether these new nutrients – taken in combination with the antioxidants and minerals tested in the original AREDS study – can further slow the progression of AMD and the associated vision loss.

AREDS 2 Formula

  • 500 mg vitamin C
  • 400 (IU) vitamin E
  • 25 mg of zinc
  • 2 mg of copper
  • 10 mg lutein
  • 2 mg zeaxanthin
  • 350 mg DHA
  • 650 mg EPA