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Semin Ophthalmol. 2011 May;26(3):131-6. doi: 10.3109/08820538.2011.577131.

Nutritional supplementation and age-related macular degeneration.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


The prevalence of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasing as the population of elderly in the United States grows. Currently the pathogenesis is not fully understood, however oxidative injury is felt to play a significant role. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) established that a supplemental combination of dietary antioxidants of zinc, β-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E slowed progression of AMD. Recently lutein, zeaxanthin, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids have also been reported to decrease AMD progression, while vitamin E and β-carotene where found to increase the risk of late AMD. AREDS2 is currently underway, further examining the effects of omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and the original AREDS formulation. While awaiting the results of AREDS2, it is important to understand the evidence currently available, so that physicians can safely advise patients today. This review examines the most current literature available exploring nutritional supplementation in age-related macular degeneration.

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