Many patients wonder which vitamins they should take if they have macular degeneration. While there are a number of different vitamins that purport to help patients with macular degeneration, there are only a few well done studies showing the actual benefit of vitamins for patients with macular degeneration.
The Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that among patients with moderate to advanced macular degeneration, a formula comprised of vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and copper reduced the risk of progression by around 25%. These vitamins did not show a significant benefit to patients with early macular degeneration.
The formula used during the AREDS study was comprised of the following vitamins taken daily:
- Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) 15 mg
- Vitamin C 500 mg
- Vitamin E 400 IU
- Zinc oxide 80 mg
- Copper (cupric oxide) 2 mg
This formula of vitamins is readily available in most pharmacies and can be purchased without a prescription.
In patients with a history of tobacco use, Lutein should be substituted for the beta-carotene because high doses of beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer in these patients.