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AREDS 2 FAQs

What is AREDS 2?
What was the original AREDS study?
What were the findings of the AREDS 2 study?
I'm already taking vitamins.Why do I need to take a Viteyes® AREDS 2 Based Formula?
What are lutein and zeaxanthin and how do they help with AMD?
AREDS 2 formulas
What is AREDS 2?
AREDS2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2) was a 5-year study completed by the National Eye Institute in 2013. AREDS2 was a follow up study to the original 10-year AREDS study completed in 2001. With new research surrounding lutein and zeaxanthin, AREDS2 researchers strove to identify a better recommendation for lowering the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). To better understand the AREDS2 study. It is best to understand first what the findings of the original AREDS study (see below).

What was the original AREDS study?
In October 2001, the National Eye Institute (NEI) completed a large ten-year study, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). The study concluded that people at high risk of developing advanced stages of AMD lowered their risk by about 25% when treated with a high-dose combination of antioxidants plus zinc, the AREDS Formula. This formula included:

  • Beta-carotene (Vitamin A) – 15 mg (25,000 IU)
• Vitamin C – 500 mg
• Vitamin E – 400 IU
• Zinc – 80 mg
• Copper 2 mg

What were the findings of the AREDS2 study?
Omit Beta-Carotene, Add Lutein & Zeaxanthin: The AREDS 2 study analyzed the original AREDS formula with and without beta-carotene. This was due to the concern of an increased risk of lung cancer for smokers and former smokers taking beta-carotene. AREDS2 also researched adding lutein and zeaxanthin. The subset of participants who took lutein and zeaxanthin and no beta-carotene lowered their risk of progression to advanced AMD by 18% compared to than those in AREDS2 who took the original AREDS supplement with beta-carotene. As a result, the NEI's AREDS2 findings suggest modifying the AREDS formula by omitting beta-carotene and adding lutein and zeaxanthin.

   

Zinc Levels: “In the original AREDS study, the dose for zinc was set high (80 mg) because a previous small trial had found that high-dose zinc was beneficial for AMD. However, some nutritionists were concerned the dose was too high.”** The AREDS2 study tested zinc at 80 mg and 25 mg. The results showed that when lowering zinc there was “no statistically significant effect on progression to advanced AMD.”*


I'm already taking vitamins. Why do I need to take a Viteyes® AREDS 2 Based Formula?
Most likely your multivitamin supplement doesn't provide all the recommended vitamins and minerals to aid in preventing AMD.

What are lutein and zeaxanthin and how do they help with AMD?
Lutein and zeaxanthin, both carotenoids, are found to be highly concentrated in the macula. These carotenoids are found in foods such as egg yolks and dark, leafy green vegetables (e.g. spinach and broccoli). Lutein and zeaxanthin cannot be made by the body; therefore, they must be obtained from food or dietary supplements.
Approximately half of Americans only get 1-2 mg of lutein each day from their diet—a fraction of the amount needed to replenish levels in the eye. Lutein and zeaxanthin were a part of the AREDS 2 study, which recommends 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin for AMD—significantly higher than the amount of lutein found in the average American diet.
The AREDS 2 study stated that, compared to the AREDS formula, removing beta-carotene and adding lutein and zeaxanthin may lower the risk of developing advanced stages of AMD by an additional 18%. In addition, those participants who began the AREDS 2 study with a low intake of lutein and zeaxanthin in their diet and were supplemented with lutein and zeaxanthin during the study were 25% less likely to develop advanced AMD compared to participants with similar dietary intake who did not take lutein and zeaxanthin.*

AREDS 2 formulas
*NEI website 2013. AREDS 2 Media Q&A http://www.nei.nih.gov/areds2/MediaQandA.asp
**AREDS2 Research Group. "Lutein/Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial." JAMA, published online May 5, 2013.