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Can Vitamins and Minerals Help Your Eye Health?

Two successive Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS), sponsored by the federal government’s National Eye Institute, have found that taking high levels of antioxidants and zinc can reduce the rate of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in people at high risk by about 25 percent.  However, this regimen will not prevent the development of AMD altogether.

If you have AMD or at risk for AMD, you should talk to your Lifetime Vision @ Mielcarek doctor about whether taking the high-level vitamin and mineral AREDS formulation is right for you.

The specific daily amounts of antioxidants and zinc used by the AREDS study researchers were:

  • 500 milligrams of vitamin C;
  • 400 international units of vitamin E;
  • 15 milligrams of beta-carotene (often labeled as equivalent to 25,000 international units of vitamin A);
  • 80 milligrams of zinc as zinc oxide;
  • and 2 milligrams of copper as cupric oxide.

Why the copper?  It was added to the AREDS formulation because it contains zinc—and the copper helps prevent copper deficiency anemia, a condition associated with high levels of zinc intake.

Your current multivitamins probably contain important nutrients not found in the AREDS formulation, and you shouldn’t give that up and replace it with the AREDS formulation, particularly if your doctor recommended the vitamin regimen you are currently on.  Before adding the AREDS formulation to your routine, you should review all your vitamins with your doctor.  In addition, you should discuss with your doctor some potential side effects that can arise from the high levels of vitamins and minerals in this AREDS formulation.  But if you have AMD or are at risk for AMD, the AREDS formulation of vitamins and minerals is something you should consider.