Is Your AREDS Supplement *REALLY* An AREDS Supplement?

AREDS 2 supplements

Here’s a question for you: What’s in an “AREDS2 supplement”?

If you said “lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C & E, zinc and copper” (not in any particular order!) then you would only be partially right.  Of course it’s important to identify the key ingredients recommended in AREDS2, but just as important is the DOSE.  After all, there’s a big difference between a dose of 6mg lutein (found in some supplements) and the 10mg lutein recommended in AREDS2!

So what is an AREDS2 supplement?

In short, AREDS2 supplements can lower your risk of late age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and follows the recommended ingredients and daily dose in the AREDS2 studies:

✓ Lutein 10mg
✓ Zeaxanthin 2mg
✓ Vitamin C 500mg
✓ Vitamin E 400IU
✓ Zinc 25mg
✓ Copper 2mg

The AREDS2 formula has now superseded the original AREDS formula.

A study published in the journal Ophthalmology, found that whilst all of the supplements studied contained the ingredients from the AREDS or AREDS2 formula, only 4 out of 11 (36%) contained equivalent doses of AREDS or AREDS2 ingredients.

Another thing to consider is whether the supplement contain other ingredients NOT in the AREDS2 recommendations.  Remember – only the AREDS and AREDS2 formula have been clinically proven to work.

Here’s an example: “MacuXXXXX” (unfortunately we’re not allowed to name the product!) says it’s “AREDS 2 Plus Formula” contains a couple of herbal ingredients, plus the AREDS2 ingredients of lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C & E, zinc and copper. However, the daily dose of Vitamin E in MacuXXXXX is only 9IU – compare that to the 400IU recommended in AREDS2! That’s only 2.25% of what’s actually recommended!

Similarly, the daily dose of Vitamin C is only 80mg (versus 500mg in AREDS2), Zinc only 10mg (versus 25mg), and Copper only 0.5mg (versus 2mg). This is giving people false assurance because they think that they are taking an “AREDS2 supplement” but in reality they are not! One can only imagine that the makers of MacuXXXXX gives you less than that recommended in AREDS2 because it’s cheaper for them to make and can sell their product cheaply…and there are many other “AREDS2 supplements” like this!

In short – pay attention to both the ingredients and the dose and consider if the makers of the supplement are experts in the field of eye nutrition!

*AREDS supplements should always be discussed with your eye specialist*

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