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Health Answers: Do supplements help prevent eye disease?

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Q: Do supplements help prevent eye disease?

A: Lots of supplements tout benefits for the eyes, but one case where scientific evidence supports taking supplements for eye disease is for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in the US. In 2001, the federally-funded Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that an antioxidant formulation containing vitamin C (500 mg), vitamin E (400 IU), beta-carotene (15 mg), zinc (80 mg), and copper (2 mg) could reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD by 25 percent over five years. The AREDS2 study tested a tweaked formulation (10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin instead of beta-carotene, 1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, and only 25 mg of zinc).

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