AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) - Conclusions you need to know
Protect the eyes - Natural supplements that work
Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans – more than cataracts and glaucoma combined.
At present, Macular Degeneration is considered an incurable eye disease.
The AREDS Study
The 2001 Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), was done by NIH’s National Eye Institute. They came up with a good vitamin and mineral preventitive formula.
The government’s National Eye Institute’s mission is to “conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and the special health problems and requirements of the blind.”
In 2006 the NEI launched AREDS2, a five-year study asking if previous formula could be improved by adding omega-3 fatty acids; adding lutein and zeaxanthin; removing beta-carotene; or reducing zinc.
Additional research showed beneficial effects of taking the AREDS vitamins are long-lasting. A follow-up study of AREDS participants, showed those who took the formulation during the initial five-year trial were up to 30 percent less likely to develop advanced AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration).
AMD by itself does not lead to complete blindness, with no ability to see. However, the loss of central vision in AMD can interfere with simple everyday activities, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write, or do close work, such as cooking or fixing things around the house.
One of the great things about the study was the Supplement ingredient suggestion.
The AREDS2 trial tested whether the original formulation could be improved by adding lutein, zeaxanthin or omega-3 fatty acids.
Lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene all belong to the same family of vitamins, and are abundant in green leafy vegetables.
AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula.
The macula is made up of millions of light-sensing cells that provide sharp, central vision. It is the most sensitive part of the retina, which is located at the back of the eye. The retina turns light into electrical signals and then sends these electrical signals through the optic nerve to the brain, where they are translated into the images we see. When the macula is damaged, the center of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted, or dark.
Currently, no treatment exists for early AMD, which in many people shows no symptoms or loss of vision.
As for prevention, AMD occurs less often in people who exercise, avoid smoking, and eat nutritious foods including green leafy vegetables and fish. If you already have AMD, adopting some of these habits may help you keep your vision longer.
Researchers found that daily intake of certain high-dose vitamins and minerals can slow progression of the disease in people who have intermediate AMD, and those who have late AMD in one eye.
If you have intermediate or late AMD, you might benefit from taking supplements containing these ingredients. But first, be sure to review and compare the labels.
Remember that the AREDS formulation is not a cure. It does not help people with early AMD, and will not restore vision already lost. But it could delay the onset of late AMD. It also may help slow vision loss in people who already have late AMD.
Choose a healthy diet. The antioxidant vitamins in fruits and vegetables contribute to eye health. Kale, spinach, broccoli, peas and other vegetables have high levels of antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which may benefit people with macular degeneration.
Choose a good supplement with the vitamins and minerals the Eye Institute suggests.
Invest in your eye health
Formulations like OPTIMAL EYES take the study's formulation recommendation to the next level, and improve upon it. Worth considering and for the low-cost, worth taking to help protect your eyes. Especially if your diet is lacking in the antioxidant vitamins we listed.