The results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2) were recently released. In the first AREDS trial that took place back in 2001 participants diagnosed with AMD who took the AREDS formulation were 25% less likely to progress to advanced AMD over the 5-year study period.
Those first participants have now been followed by researchers for ten years and report that the benefits of the AREDS formulation have persisted over the length of time. The original AREDS formulation contained vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper.In the Areds2 Study they have added to these components nutritional supplements, omega-3 fatty acids and leutin/zeaxanthin.
Over four thousand participants took part who were already at risk of advanced AMD. These patients fell into the 50-85 year old age group.
The addition of omega -3 fatty acids did not report to provide any further advantages to the formula. The addition of lutein/zeaxanthin however did provide a small benefit, which was significantly greater for people who had the lowest intake of lutein in their regular diet. In a sub-group analysis, it was also shown that when beta-carotene was removed from the original formulation, and replaced with lutein/zeaxanthin, there was an 18% additional reduction in the risk of progression to late stage AMD.