Send to

Choose Destination
N Z Med J. 2009 Jul 24;122(1299):32-8.

Dietary supplement use in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration progression.

Author information

Ophthalmology, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand.



The Age-Related Eye Disease Study Group (AREDS) has found high-dose vitamin supplementation may have a role in preventing the progression of Category 3 and 4 age-related maculopathy. The aim of this study is to compare dietary antioxidant, zinc, and copper intakes of Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States to determine the difference between the actual and suggested AREDS intakes for these nutrients. A further aim is to investigate the constituents of commonly available single and multivitamin preparations in New Zealand and carry out a cost analysis.


The total median intake of vitamins A, C, and E; zinc; and copper is analysed from the most recent nutrition data published by the four countries. Forty multivitamin brands and 32 individual nutrient brands were analysed. An average price per tablet for each brand has been calculated in New Zealand dollars.


The median intakes of antioxidants, zinc, and copper for these countries were comparable, but lower than the AREDS suggested intakes. Sixteen of the 40 multivitamin preparations contained all recommended nutrients. Of these, only two fulfilled the AREDS-recommended levels. The cost of different preparations is similar.


Dietary supplementation is required to achieve the AREDS nutrient intake recommendations. This may be achieved by using any combination of multivitamin and individual supplement preparations available. Comprehensive tables have been constructed to guide ophthalmologists in the process of suggesting supplementation to prevent the progression of Category 3 and 4 age-related maculopathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center