Age-related macular disease (AMD) is a common eye condition that causes central vision blurring. It is quite common in the United States, especially among older white Americans. It is the leading cause for eyesight loss in America. Supplements can slow down or stop the progression of AMD.
According to Age-Related Eye Disease Studies, diet can help reduce the progression of AMD, which is the main cause of blindness for older Americans. Scientists discovered that the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies Formula (AREDS2) Formula, which replaces beta-carotene and antioxidants lutein/zeaxanthin (along with lutein/zeaxanthin), lowers both the risk of developing lung cancer and AMD. The data from AREDS2 was studied for 11 years by scientists. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in JAMA Ophthalmology on June 2, 2022.
“Because beta-carotene has been proven to increase lung cancer risk in recent smokes in NIH funded studies,” stated Emily Chew (director of the National Eye Institute’s Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Application) and principal author. According to data from 10 years ago, the new method is more effective in reducing AMD development.
AMD is the term for your light-sensitive cells within your eye. It is a degenerative retinal disorder. This section of the retina allows for you to see clearly in the center. Blindness is finally possible due to the progressive deterioration in retinal tissue within the macula. AMD is not curable. The proper treatment can slow down or reverse vision loss.
The first AREDS research was published in 1996. It found that a food supplement formula could dramatically reduce AMD progression. Two independent studies found that beta-carotene smokers had a higher cancer risk than expected.
Chew and his colleagues compared a beta-carotene mixture with 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin in AREDS2 2006 Like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, lutein and lutein are antioxidants with retinal functions.
Researchers tracked down 3,883 of the original 4,203 participants in AREDS2 for five years after the 2011 study was completed. All patients were able to receive the final AREDS2 version after the five-year trial. This version contained lutein/zeaxanthin and not beta-carotene. Researchers determined that lutein/zeaxanthin didn’t increase the risk of developing lung cancer, and that the novel version could lower the risk by approximately 26%.
The researchers collected data about whether the AMD had advanced to late stages or whether they were diagnosed with lung cancer. Although all the participants had changed to the lutein/zeaxanthin mixture, the follow-up investigation showed that beta-carotene had approximately increased the risk of developing lung cancer in people who had ever smoked. The risk of developing late AMD in the group who received lutein/zeaxanthin was 20% lower after ten years than those who received beta-carotene. Lung cancer was not a problem for people who took lutein/zeaxanthin.
Chew stated that these results “validated our decision to convert beta-carotene into lutein, zeaxanthin and lutein in our mix.”