MedPage Today - No Benefit for Aging Eyes with More Antioxidants

New York, NY
 – May 5, 2013  –– 

Adding lutein, zeaxanthin, and fish oil to daily multivitamin supplements doesn't boost prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts in high-risk individuals, according to two analyses of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association and JAMA Ophthalmology. Publication of the papers coincided with presentation at the Association for Researchynin Vision and Opthamology meeting in Seattle. The only possible role for lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants would be for poorly-nourished populations or as a substitute for beta carotene in the AREDS formulation. That could be an important finding for smokers and former smokers, who appeared to be the ones mainly affected by the lung cancer risk of beta carotene, commented Douglas Jabs, MD, MBA, chair of ophthalmology at The Mount Sinai Hospital. The results don't provide the final word on lutein and zeaxanthin overall, though, he argued in an email to MedPage Today. “This study enrolled a population of well-nourished people," he said. "We are unlikely to replicate this study with a similar population, but, as acknowledged by the authors, we do not yet know if there might be benefit of the additional supplementation for patients who are less well-nourished."
- Dr. Douglas Jabs, Dean for Clinical Affairs, Professor and Chair, Ophthalmology, Professor, Medicine, The Mount Sinai Hospital
Learn more