Supplementing Your Diet For Eyes’ Sake

Supplements For Macula Health

  • If dietary intake of nutrients, particularly eye health nutrients is INADEQUATE, a supplement may be considered. This can be appropriate whether or not you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration.
  • AREDS2-based supplements are supplements specifically created for those diagnosed with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) based on the Age-Related Eye Disease Study #2 (AREDS-2).

LUTEIN Supplement

Lutein is a particularly important antioxidant for eye health. WHO FOR? If you are over 50 or have a family history of AMD, and are not eating sufficient dark green leafy vegetables, a lutein supplement may be appropriate.
WHAT DOSE? A daily lutein intake of 6-10mg from a supplement is generally considered adequate.

OMEGA-3 Supplement

There is a substantial body of evidence supporting the consumption of actual fish (2-3 serves per week) to reduce the risk of AMD. If you eat adequate fish, current evidence shows that a fish oil supplement provides no additional benefit. If you do not eat 2-3 serves of fish per week, a fish oil supplement may be worth considering. A s fish oil may also be beneficial for other medical conditions it may be worth discussing this with your doctor.

AREDS2 Supplements

The AREDS studies revealed that a specific formula of zinc and antioxidants slowed down the progression of AMD, specifically for people in the intermediate stage of AMD in one or both eyes, or in the late stage in one eye. The AREDS formula reduced the risk of progression of the disease by 20-25% and delayed vision loss. Supplements are not a cure for macular degeneration. Taking the AREDS formula may reduce the risk of progression but it does not stop or reverse damage caused by the disease.

WHAT is the AREDS2 formula?

The AREDS2 formula (daily dose) consists of:

  • Zinc 80mg
  • Vitamin c 500 mg
  • Vitamin E 400 IU
  • Copper 2mg
  • Lutein 10mg
  • Zeaxanthin 2mg

There are a number of supplements available for macula health. Ensure you check the label and that it conforms to the AREDS2 formula with correct ingredients in the correct ratio.

Due to current regulations, the label on the product will typically say “take 1 tablet a day or as professionally prescribed”. However typically more than 1 tablet may be required to meet the AREDS2 dose so please consult with your doctor. Caution should be taken when considering high dose vitamins and minerals as they can interfere with medications.


Can bilberry supplements reduce the risk of AMD?

Although bilberry is a useful antioxidant, there is no specific evidence that it reduces the risk of AMD or slows its progression.

Can Saffron help?

There is currently no evidence that shows saffron reduces the risk of AMD or slows it progression.

For more information on eye health and eye conditions or to find your local Eyecare Plus optometrist

About optometrists:

Optometrists are experts in vision care who diagnose, manage and treat a wide range of vision problems, eye diseases and ocular conditions. By prescribing spectacles, contact lenses, vision aides and other treatments, optometrists help their patients maximise and retain good vision for life.


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