The Age Related Vision Study Information
The AREDS2 results were published May 5, 2013 by the National Eye Institute in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The publication of these results can be found here:
AREDS 2 Study Findings
- A modified AREDS Formula with both Lutein and Zeaxanthin, but without beta-carotene, was 18% more effective than AREDS1.
This was below the threshold of 25% that the authors had set. So although AREDS 2 showed benefit, it was considered as "failing" to prove superiority over the original AREDS research.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin absorption was improved when beta-carotene was removed from the formula.
The differences were slight, however.
- Beta carotene in high doses was again proven to increase lung cancer in former smokers.
And a new finding was that beta carotene was found to increase the risk of lung cancer in all people tested, though to a lesser degree than smokers.
- No significant decrease in benefit was found with 25 mg Zinc versus 80 mg.
While the AREDS2 study concluded that 80 mg remain the "official dose," most eye vitamin manufacturers have lessened the zinc in their formulas to 25-40 mg to lessen side effects. And because copper is in the formula to counteract the chance of zinc causing anemia, copper has likewise been lessened in most AREDS 2 eye vitamin formulas.
- Common Omega 3s with predominantly EPA were not found to be beneficial in Grade 3 and 4 macular degeneration patients. However, other studies found these to be beneficial, and it is unclear if the lack of benefit of omega 3s was a result of too low dosage or a predominance of EPA rather than DHA.
Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements. A good eye doctor can help you choose eye vitamins that best suit your needs. If you are a smoker, please be aware that Beta-Carotene may increase your risk of lung cancer. There are eye health supplements that are formulated for smokers; you may wish to investigate these.