Vitamin & Mineral Supplements and Your Eyes
AREDS or AREDS2
Scientists have long wondered whether taking vitamin and/or mineral supplements could help prevent, treat or cure certain eye conditions. Some early scientific studies show that supplements had the potential to prevent or slow the progression of cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), or keep the condition from getting worse.
What is AREDS?
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) is a major study sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the Federal government’s National Institutes of Health, and conducted at 11 major medical center research facilities around the country.
In the study, scientists looked at the effects of zinc and antioxidants, and a combination of both, on patients with cataracts, and on those with varying stages and types of age related macular degeneration (AMD). They also studied patients without evidence of cataract or AMD to determine if zinc and/or antioxidants can prevent the development of these conditions.
What is the Dosage of the AREDS Formulation?
The specific daily amounts of antioxidants and zinc used by the study researchers were 500 milligrams of vitamin C; 400 International Units of vitamin E; 15 milligrams of beta-carotene (often labeled as equivalent to 25,000 International Units of vitamin A); 80 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide; and two milligrams of copper as cupric oxide. Copper was added to the AREDS formulations containing zinc to prevent copper deficiency anemia, a condition associated with high levels of zinc intake.
What Were the Results?
The study showed a number of important things:
- High levels of antioxidants and zinc can reduce the risk of vision loss from advanced AMD by about 19% in high-risk patients (patients with intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in one eye but not the other).
- These nutritional supplements do not prevent the development of AMD, nor do they improve vision already lost to AMD.
- Nutritional supplements do not seem to prevent cataracts, or keep them from getting worse over time.
Who Should Take the AREDS Formulation?
People who are at high risk for developing advanced AMD should consider taking the combination of nutrients used in the study. Dr. Jackson can tell you if you have AMD and are at risk for developing the advanced form of the disease. He will give you a dilated eye exam in which drops are placed in your eyes. This allows for a careful examination of the inside of the eye to look for signs of AMD.
Before taking these high levels of vitamins and minerals, you should talk with Dr. Jackson about the risk of developing advanced AMD and whether taking the AREDS formulation is right for you.
Will Taking the AREDS Formulation Prevent Me from Developing AMD?
No. There is no known treatment that can prevent the development of AMD. The study did not show that the AREDS formulation prevented people from developing early signs of AMD. No recommendation has been made for taking the AREDS formulation to prevent early AMD.
Taking the formulation reduced the rate of advanced AMD in people at high risk by about 25 percent over a 6-year period. We do not know if this treatment effect will persist over a longer period. However, by continuing to follow the AREDS participants, we hope to find out if the treatment effect will last longer than six years.
While most patients in the study experienced no serious side effects from the doses of zinc and antioxidants used, a few taking zinc alone had urinary tract problems. Some patients taking large doses of antioxidants experienced some yellowing of the skin. Smokers and ex-smokers probably should not take beta-carotene, as studies have shown an association between beta-carotene use and lung cancer.
We highly recommend the following AREDS and AREDS2 Vitamin and Mineral Supplements that are available over the counter at your local pharmacy:
Ocuvite Vitamin Supplements
The most advanced formula to help protect eye health. It is uniquely formulated to help replenish vital eye nutrients that can be lost as you age.
Preservision Vitamin Supplements
PreserVision AREDS 2 contains the exact levels of all six clinically proven nutrients now recommended by the National Eye Institute (NEI) to help reduce the risk of progression in people with moderate to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This advanced formula builds on the original, clinically proven PreserVision AREDS formula, with lutein and zeaxanthin replacing beta-carotene based on the NEI’s recent Age Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2)
ICAPS Vitamin Supplements
The following recommendations are only available online:
Doctor’s Advantage was started by board certified physicians to answer a growing concern in medicine today. Over a period of several years, medical studies have recommended increased amounts of specific vitamins and nutrients for certain diseases. Many of our patients were taking vitamin supplements, but were unaware of the name of the vitamins, its ingredients, or its quality. Just as we manage the dosages of our patient’s prescription medications, we feel that it is necessary to also monitor our patient’s use of non-prescription supplements for their own safety and medical benefit.
Our patients may now enjoy the quality and benefits of high grade nutritional supplements manufactured under strict guidelines in GMP certified facilities. The supplements also undergo testing for purity and accuracy in dosages. Our current product line has been carefully optimized to address specific nutritional needs.
Ask Dr. Jackson about Doctor’s Advantage Products or go www.doctorsadvantage.net and enter PIN number 16120.
Optice Nerve Support
Glaucoma Shield supports healthy optic nerve function and is very important for individuals who have glaucoma or are at risk for developing glaucoma. Glaucoma Shield was specifically formulated by our researchers and board certified physicians to support good ocular blood flow and optic nerve function. Medical research suggests that Ginko Biloba, Taurine, and several other antioxidants in our EyeShield formulation may increase ocular blood flow and have a beneficial effect on your eye pressure. Glaucoma shield will provide your eyes with the essential nutrients they need for good optic nerve health.
Macular Support & Whole Body Health
Formulated with AREDS ingredients including 15mg of Lutein and 2mg Zeaxanthin
Macular Shield was specifically formulated for those patients with Macular Degeneration or those at high risk of developing macular degeneration. Our researchers developed a pharmaceutical grade AREDS formula with powerful protection for the macula and the whole body. It also contains EyeShield, a proprietary blend of 15 mg of Lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin and other key nutrients for added macular protection.
Combine with Omega Shield to meet/exceed the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 1 and 2 recommendations
Macular Support & Whole Body Health for Smokers Formulated with AREDS ingredients including 15mg of Lutein and 2mg Zeaxanthin
Macular Shield-S was specifically formulated for those patients with Macular Degeneration or those at high risk of developing macular degeneration. The Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene have been removed from the original formula, as these have been linked to a possible increased chance of lung cancer in smokers or those with a history of smoking.
Our researchers developed a pharmaceutical grade AREDS formula with powerful protection for the macula and the whole body. It also contains EyeShield, a proprietary blend of 15 mg of Lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin and other key nutrients for added macular protection.
Combine with Omega Shield to meet/exceed the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 1 and 2 recommendations!
Dry Eye Relief Vitamin Supplements:
Hydroeye Soft gels (available exclusively at our office)
HydroEye has been clinically tested and found to improve dry eye symptoms, keep inflammation at bay and maintain corneal smoothness in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial, recently published in the peer-reviewed journal, Cornea. The study examined HydroEye’s effect on dry eye symptoms, markers of inflammation, and corneal smoothness – a key factor for healthy vision and eye comfort. A leading, doctor-recommended dry eye treatment that provides continuous relief from dry eye discomfort due to: age, tear deficiency, contact lens wear, computer use, frequent flying, LASIK surgery, and other causes. Patented oral formula works from the inside out to target the root causes of dry eye. Features a proprietary blend of omega fatty acids and nutrient cofactors that help reduce inflammation, an underlying cause of dry eye, and support all three layers of the tear film.