Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) AREDS2

Researchers with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) reported in 2001 that a nutritional supplement called the AREDS formulation can reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The original AREDS formulation contains vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper.*

AREDS2 was a multi-center randomized trial designed to assess the effects of oral supplementation of high doses of macular xanthophylls (lutein and zeaxanthin) and/or omega -3 LCPUFAs (DHA and EPA) for the treatment of AMD and cataract. All participants were offered additional treatment with the study formulation used in AREDS. For those who elected to take this additional supplement, which is now considered the standard of care, further randomization occurred to evaluate the possibility of deleting beta-carotene and decreasing the original levels of zinc in the formulation for the treatment of AMD, if consent was obtained.*

What do each of the AREDS 2 Ingredients do?

  • Lutein: This is a compound known as a carotenoid. It is preferentially absorbed by the retina, especially the peripheral retina, and acts to absorb blue light and acts as an antioxidant*
  • Zeaxanthin: Also a carotenoid, this ingredient is preferentially absorbed by the central retina and may be even more important than lutein*
  • Vitamin C: A water-soluble ingredient commonly found in fruits and vegetables, it acts as an antioxidant*
  • Vitamin E: A fat-soluble ingredient that acts as an antioxidant*
  • Zinc oxide: Although many forms of zinc are available on the market, zinc oxide was the ingredient used in both AREDS and AREDS 2. It acts as an antioxidant and an enzyme cofactor*
  • Copper: Copper prevents Zinc from bumping iron off the hemoglobin molecules, and thus prevents an anemia that could otherwise result in zinc-induced anemia. AREDS and AREDS 2 used a 40 to 1 ratio of zinc to copper.*


To learn more about the AREDS 2 study

National Eye Institute

U.S. National Institutes of Health

*This statement above has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not  intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.




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