Mr Nicholas Glover  - Consultant Cataract Surgeon

Age-Related Eye Disease Study

Research has found that patients taking high doses of antioxidants and zinc could reduce their risk of developing advanced AMD and experiencing severe vision loss. The findings were based on a 10-year clinical trial called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).

The AREDS formulation is a combination of antioxidants and zinc. The specific daily amounts of antioxidants and zinc tested in the AREDS clinical trial included the following:

This formulation is commonly taken with meals in the morning and evening in two equally divided doses.Researchers added copper to the AREDS formulation to prevent copper-deficiency anemia. This condition happens in people who take high levels of zinc.

Taking multivitamins

Diet alone will not provide the same high levels of the vitamins and minerals found in the AREDS formulation. Multivitamins also do not contain the same high levels.

Multivitamins do contain many important vitamins not found in the AREDS formulation. Therefore, you may want to take a multivitamin along with the AREDS formulation. If you are already taking daily multivitamins and your doctor suggests you take the high-dose AREDS formulation, be sure you review your vitamin supplements with your eye care professional before you begin.

Who should take the AREDS formulation

The study showed that the formulation was most beneficial for people who had:
People with early stage AMD did not benefit from taking the AREDS formulation. Always talk to your doctor before taking any formulation.

Researchers stress that the AREDS formulation is not a cure. It will not restore vision already lost from the condition. But it may delay the onset of advanced AMD. It also may help people who are at a high risk of developing advanced AMD keep their remaining vision.