Good morning! This is the last post, of 3, regarding your diet and how it may effect macular degeneration.
Part I: What has been proven to be effective; the AREDS vitamin formula.
PartII: What has yet to be proven to be effective; omega 3 fatty acids.
The Age Related Eye Disease Study (ARED 2) is presently underway and should complete in about 5 years. It is similar to AREDS 1 in that it is a prospective study and should provide some true, proven, insights to what is truly effective against macular degeneration and what is not. The study is designed to answer the following question;
1. the significance of macular xanthophylls, lutein and zeaxanthin, in out diet. AREDS 1 indicated that lutein (found in spinach) may be helpful in reducing the chance of developing macular degeneration. Lutein is actually, to date, not proven to work, but is found in multiple formulations of vitamins with claims of stabilizing your vision.
2. the exact role of omega 3 fatty acids and it’s role in macular degeneration, dementia and cardiovascular disease.
3. the role of B-carotene; is it important? It was associated with an increase in lung cancer in smokers. Is it important at all?
Item last. Over the last 3 days, we have seemed to cover a lot, but it is important to note that not much as actually been proven to work. For now, only patients with intermediate and advanced risk factors for macular degeneration really need to be taking supplements. The rest, for now, is conjecture. It may not be pure hype, but there is no concrete evidence to support anything other than the AREDS 1 conclusions.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist