Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Supplements That Might Save Your Vision

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Along with providing information on whether macular degeneration supplements might be right for you, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy AREDs supplements for macular degeneration online through Fullscript’s secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements.

The landmark AREDS2 study provided evidence-based research to support the supplementation of specific nutrient for the prevention of macular degeneration, the most common form of vision loss in older people. This study provided the guidelines that led to the development of AREDS2 eye supplement formulas to prevent vision loss as we age.

Along with providing information on the benefits of AREDS2 eye formula supplements, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy AREDS2 eye supplements online through the secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements. 

What Is The AREDS2 Study?

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) is a research milestone in the field of ophthalmology, particularly for understanding and managing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Building on the original AREDS, this study sought to refine the formulation of nutritional supplements aimed at slowing the progression of AMD.

The AREDS2 study explored the effects of adding nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in the eye and believed to protect against damaging light. It also studied the effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids in first AREDS formula. The AREDS2 outcomes led to an updated supplement formula. This study’s findings are the cornerstone in preventive strategies and treatments for age-related macular degeneration, providing an evidence-based approach to preserving eye health. [PMC3485447]

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article aims to offer valuable insights into which nutritional supplements have undergone scientific study and shown promise in supporting specific health conditions. We break down the research, so you can work with your medical providers to make informed decisions about adding supplements to your health regimen. For personalized advice tailored to your needs, we recommend consulting with a registered dietitian in addition to your primary care provider.

Check with your physician when adding supplements. While supplements are generally safe for most people, do not add nutritional supplements without your physician’s specific approval if you are pregnant or nursing, are undergoing cancer treatment, have a history of organ transplant, liver or kidney disease, or take medications that interact with supplements.

What Is In An AREDS2 Vitamin Supplement?

The typical components of the formula include:

When choosing an AREDS2 formula, it’s important to look at the specific dosages of each component, as they can vary between different brands and formulations.

Zinc at 25mg Or 80 mg: Which Is Better?

In the AREDS2 study, one of the critical questions explored was whether a lower dose of zinc would be as effective as the higher dose used in the original AREDS formulation for managing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The original AREDS formula included 80 mg of zinc, but concerns about potential side effects at this higher dose led researchers to investigate whether a reduced amount of 25 mg would be equally beneficial. The findings were revealing; both the 25 mg and 80 mg doses of zinc were found to be effective in reducing the risk of AMD progression. However, the lower dose of 25 mg was associated with less gastrointestinal discomfort.

For people with macular degeneration, this means there are now options for zinc dosing in AREDS2 supplements, allowing for a more tailored approach based on individual tolerance and medical advice. Ultimately, the choice between 25 mg and 80 mg of zinc in AREDS2 supplements should be made in consultation with your eye doctor.

Are AREDS2 Supplements Safe?

The nutrients found in AREDS2 supplements are considered safe and well-tolerated for most people, especially when taken at the dosages recommended for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These supplements are the result of extensive research and clinical trials, specifically the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), which looked closely at safety.

Medication Interactions With AREDS2 Supplements

  • Blood-Thinning Medications (e.g., Warfarin/Coumadin): Vitamin E in high doses can potentially interact with these medications, increasing the risk of bleeding. Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids, if included in the AREDS2 supplement regimen, can also enhance the effects of blood thinners and may raise bleeding risks.
  • Antibiotics (Tetracycline and Quinolone): High doses of zinc, as found in AREDS2 supplements, can interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of these antibiotics.
  • Penicillamine: Zinc in AREDS2 supplements can affect the absorption and action of penicillamine.
  • Allopurinol (For Gout): Copper in AREDS2 supplements can interact with allopurinol. Additionally, high doses of zinc, which are balanced by copper in AREDS2, can also interact with this medication.

Supplement Interactions With AREDS2 Supplements

  • Multivitamins: If you’re taking a multivitamin in addition to AREDS2 supplements, you may be at risk of getting too much of certain nutrients, especially if the multivitamin also contains high levels of vitamin E, zinc, or copper.
  • Additional Zinc Supplements: Since AREDS2 already contains a significant amount of zinc, taking additional zinc supplements could lead to an excessive intake, potentially causing side effects like gastrointestinal upset and interfering with copper absorption.
  • Additional Vitamin E Supplements: High doses of vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you are also taking blood-thinning supplements like omega-3 fatty acids or Ginkgo biloba.
  • Calcium Supplements: Calcium can interfere with the absorption of certain components in the AREDS2 formula, such as zinc.
  • Antioxidant-Rich Supplements: Other supplements high in antioxidants, such as lycopene or beta-carotene, might interact with the high levels of vitamins C and E in AREDS2, potentially leading to an excess in antioxidant intake.

Order AREDs Supplements For Macular Degeneration

Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Free shipping over $50 and best prices when you order through Supplement Sciences.
  • Freshness. Fullscript prioritizes freshness over bulk buying even if it means an increased risk of briefly being out of stock.
  • Top quality phone and online support. When you call, knowledgeable humans at Fullscript answer your questions.
  • How It Works:
    • Easy Sign-up & No Spam Email: Click the “View Product” button below to be taken to Fullscript’s login page where you can quickly create your secure account with just your name, email, and phone number. Then you will be taken directly to the product page.
    • Wide variety of supplement options: Once you sign in to your account, you are not limited to the products listed below. You will see similar items listed at the bottom of each product page on Fullscript.
    • Search For What You Want: Once inside Fullscript, you can search for the exact brands and products you want from their wide selection of quality brands.

The Best AREDs Supplement Products

Eye Protect Basics* by Pure Encapsulations

Amount Per 2 Capsule Serving
vitamin C
 … 500mg
vitamin E … 268mg
zinc … 25mg
copper … 2mg
lutein … 10mg
zeaxanthin … 2mg
ascorbyl palmitate … 20mg

Eye Protect Basics w/o zinc* by Pure Encapsulations

Amount Per 2 capsule Serving
vitamin C
 … 500mg
vitamin E … 268mg 
copper … 2mg
lutein … 10mg
zeaxanthin … 2mg
ascorbyl palmitate … 20mg

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

The development and refinement of AREDS2 supplements mark a major advancement in our approach to managing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision impairment among older adults. With ingredients including lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and vitamins C and E, AREDS2 supplements are specifically designed to target the nutritional needs of individuals with AMD, helping to slow its progression and preserve vision quality. While they are not a cure for AMD, their role in a proactive eye health strategy cannot be understated.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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