Increased intake of carotenoids and fish oil doesn't reduce AMD risk further

May 20, 2013

Increased oral supplementation of carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, does not reduce the risk of AMD progression further to the original AREDS formulation, claims the latest results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2).

Increased oral supplementation of carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, does not reduce the risk of AMD progression further to the original AREDS formulation, claims the latest results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2).

Dr Emily Chew , National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, conducted the multicentre, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled phase 3 study between 2006 and 2012. AREDS2 included 4203 participants aged 50 to 85 years of age at risk for progression to advanced AMD with bilateral large drusen in one eye and advanced AMD in the fellow eye.

All participants were randomized to receive 10 mg of lutein with 2 mg of zeaxanthin or 350 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or a placebo. Each patient was also administered the original AREDS formulation or was randomized to receive one of four variations to the formulation. This included the elimination of beta carotene, the lowering of zinc or a combination of both. The main outcome measure was development of advanced AMD.

Of the 1608 participants, 1940 eyes progressed to advanced AMD. The Kaplan-Meier probabilities of progression to advanced AMD by five years were 31% for placebo, 29% for lutein and zeaxanthin and the DHA and EPA combination. There was no effect of beta carotene elimination or a reduction of zinc on progression to advanced AMD.

The abstract can be found in the latest issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

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