08 May Adding Lutein and Zeaxanthin to Your Daily Vitamins Slows Macular Degeneration
The Age Related Macular Degeneration Study 2 (AREDS 2) data supports removing beta carotene and replacing it with lutein and zeaxanthin to decrease the progression of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a disease where the macula (the central part of our vision) begins to wear out as we age. It affects the ability to read and recognize faces.
The original AREDS 1 study found that vitamins with Beta Carotene, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Copper slowed the rate of macular degeneration. The follow-up AREDS 2 study found that modifying the formula was even more effective. It showed that adding lutein and zeaxanthin slowed macular degeneration while beta carotene seemed to decrease the effect of lutein and zeaxanthin.
The new recommendation is for individuals to take 500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E, 80 mg zinc, 10 mg lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin, 2 mg copper per day. This follow-up study was funded by the National Eye Institute and the results are encouraging. They help us refine our ability to fight off macular degeneration. We are living longer so anything that helps us save our central vision as we age is a blessing.