Nutritional Supplementation for Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) AREDS 2 Formulation

While no vitamin supplement is subject to approval by the FDA, The National Institute of Health (NIH) has been instrumental in providing us with clinically significant data that can reduce the risk of developing advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).

This formulation is NOT indicated for preventative care for individuals with a family history of ARMD.  It is recommended by eye care professionals for use by those diagnosed with moderate stage of ARMD for the sole purpose of reducing the risk of developing advanced ARMD.

In 2001, researchers with the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) report a reduced risk of developing advanced ARMD.  

In 2006, those same researchers conducted the AREDS 2 study to determine if the AREDS formulation could be improved upon.  Lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids were added to enhance the formulation and beta carotene was removed secondary to an increased risk of lung cancer in current and former smokers.

The resultant AREDS 2 formulation consists of the following nutrients:

Vitamin C 500mg

Vitamin E 400 international units

Zinc Oxide 25mg

Copper/Cupric Oxide 2mg

Lutein 10mg

Zeaxanthin 2mg

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA 350mg/EPA 650mg)

Popular brands among eye care professionals are:

Preservision AREDS2 by Bausch & Lomb 

I-Caps AREDS2 by Alcon

MacularProtect Complete AREDS2 by Science Based Health

The AREDS 2 formulation is generally safe to be taken with a general multivitamin, however, one must always use caution with the use of nutritional supplementation. While many vitamins are water soluble and the body naturally flushes out what is not needed, there are also essential nutrients found in vitamins that can build up to toxic levels in the body.  It is crucial to your eye and overall health to maintain a healthy balance of all vitamins and minerals our bodies require. Healthcare professionals are here to help guide you in your path toward well balanced health.

Here are some tips to reduce your risk of developing ARMD:

  • Have a good balanced diet with green leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish.  Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates (high glycemic index foods).

  • Exercise regularly with a good balance between cardiovascular and weight bearing workouts. 

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Wear sunglasses with proper UV protection, all year round.

  • Do not smoke.

  • Have comprehensive eye examinations on an annual basis.  Early detection and management of ARMD is key to preserving your vision.


This has been one of Dr. Hannah’s Picks, a monthly suggestion on products for your eye health. To read past entries, please click here.