REVIEW – March 2019

Antioxidant vitamin and mineral complex to reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration – science based data

Authors: Pille-Riin Jõudna

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease, and oxidative damage to the retinal cells has been described as one of the causative factors of the disease. The AREDS2 antioxidant vitamin and mineral complex is a scientific combination of micronutrients that is used during the intermediate and late AMD stages to reduce the progression of the disease. Patients without AMD or those in the early stage of the disease do not benefit from the supplementation, and prophylactic usage is not advised (4). The complex consists of vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and copper. Beta carotene, which initially belonged to the complex, increases the risk of lung cancer of current and former smokers and is therefore not suggested to patients with a history of smoking (5). Omega-3 fatty acids, which were also tested, did not show any protective or harmful effect on progression to late AMD (5). During the last decade, the relationship between AREDS2 supplements and AMD genetics has been studied. Based on the latest knowledge, genetic testing prior to starting with the complex is not suggested (27, 29, 30).