Macular degeneration eye health supplements

According to the published results of the NIH AREDS studies:

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Researchers at the NIH National Eye Institute conducted the Age-Related Eye Disease Studies 1 and 2 (AREDS1 and AREDS2; or also known as AREDS I and AREDS II) in order to find out whether taking a nutritional supplement made with high levels of vitamins and minerals could protect against AMD and cataracts.

AREDS clinical studies designed to test the effect of ultra-high doses of micronutrients on the incidence (development of new cases) and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and also cataracts. The micronutrients studied were vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene and zinc with copper, and in a later study (AREDS2) lutein was also tested. Participants were followed for about 6 years, and were categorized by the presence of drusen and diagnosis of AMD into one of four categories described below.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) categories:

1. Category 1 (no AMD): a few small drusens or no drusen.

2. Category 2 (early AMD): pigment abnormalities, extensive small drusen or at least 1 intermediate size druse. If your eye care professional has recently examined your eye and discovered that you might have AMD, it is very likely that you have early AMD (category 2). Your visual performance may not be affected now, but you are at high risk of vision impairment.

3. Category 3 (intermediate AMD): geographic atrophy not involving the center of the macula, extensive intermediate drusen, or at least 1 large drusen.

4. Category 4 (advanced AMD in one eye): visual acuity less than 20/32 due to advanced AMD in one eye.

Summary of results from the NIH age-related eye disease study (AREDS) for macular degeneration:

1- Macular degeneration AREDS formula have no benefit for preventing development of new cases of AMD. If you are at increased risk of developing AMD, for example because of family history or poor diet choices, AREDS formula will not help you to prevent or delay developing AMD.

2- Macular degeneration AREDS supplements are not effective in treating early AMD (patients with category 1 or category 2 AMD). If your AMD is recently diagnosed after an eye examination by your doctor it is very likely that you have early AMD. Macular degeneration AREDS formula will not help you, and it is very likely that your AMD will progress and cause vision impairment.

3- Patients categorized as high risk for developing the advanced form of macular degeneration-AMD (i.e., patients in category 3 and 4 as explained above) could reduce their risk of disease progression with AREDS formula but only by about 25%. If you have intermediate AMD, in majority of the cases it will progress to the advanced form even if you take AREDS vitamin supplements.

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4- Macular degeneration AREDS formula are not beneficial for patients that have the advanced form of AMD.
It is devastating to be diagnosed with AMD, and unfortunately, the treatment options for patients with AMD are very limited. It is evident that there is a significant unmet medical need to help patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

We hear from our customers with early macular degeneration (AMD) that were told by a health care professional about a lack of treatment options for their dry early AMD, and that the patient should wait until the disease has progressed to the intermediate stage in order to recommend taking macular degeneration AREDS products! This is unfortunate as there are many recent research that have shown the beneficial effects of natural products such as saffron and resveratrol in treatment management of macular degeneration AMD, especially in the early stage of age-related macular degeneration.

Role of beta-carotene and concern for risk of lung cancer

Did you know that beta-carotene is present in some eye supplements made based on macular degeneration AREDS studies? And that you may not wish to take these products, because beta-carotene is shown to be associated with increased risk of developing lung cancer among smokers.

Saffron and resveratrol for macular degeneration (AMD):

Saffron 2020 is a patented eye supplement, approved by Health Canada, which has been developed based on advanced research findings to tackle macular degeneration (AMD) regardless of disease stage. This unique product is developed to help maintain eyesight and improve a sufferer’s quality of life.  This nutritional supplement, which is also suitable for smokers, is based on earlier research in 2010 that suggested saffron may help protect against failing eyesight in age-related macular degeneration (AMD); the most common cause of blindness in old people.

There is no other similar product on the market designed to help patients maintain their eyesight in macular degeneration. To learn more about benefits Saffron 2020 in macular degeneration click here….



McBee WL, Lindblad AS, Ferris FL 3rd. Who should receive oral supplement treatment for age-related macular degeneration? Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2003 Jun;14(3):159-62.