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Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2)

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A scene as it might be viewed by a person with AMD.
Age related macular degeneration
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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.

In 2006, the same research group, which is based at NIH's National Eye Institute, began a second study called AREDS2 to determine if they could improve the AREDS formulation. They tried adding omega-3 fatty acids, as well as the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are in the same family of nutrients as beta-carotene. The researchers also tried substituting lutein and zeaxanthin for beta-carotene, which prior studies had associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers. The study found that while omega-3 fatty acids had no effect on the formulation, lutein and zeaxanthin together appeared to be a safe and effective alternative to beta-carotene.

Press Release:

NIH study provides clarity on supplements for protection against blinding eye disease, May 5, 2013

For Eye Care Professionals:

Advanced AMD Risk Calculator

For the Public:

What the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies Mean for You

Facts about AMD

For the Media:

Questions and Answers about AREDS2

More Information:

Results from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2, presented by the AREDS2 Research Team at the ARVO Annual Meeting, May 5, 2013 (Video)


AMD Infographic

AMD images


Age-Related Eye Disease Study-Results, October 12, 2001

Last Revised: May 2013

Department of Health and Human Services NIH, the National Institutes of Health