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Thursday, February 03, 2011
Reduce Risk of Macular Degeneration
Most supplement companies are reluctant to abandon a well-established brand - even when they have something better to sell. On a recent visit to our optometrist he alerted us to a perfect example of that in the area of eye health. But, first a bit of background.
Many of you have probably heard of AREDS (Age Related Eye Disease Study) conducted by the National Eye Institute. That study showed that high doses of the antioxidants vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E and the mineral zinc significantly decreased the risk of macular degeneration in high risk patients.
Very shortly after the study was completed several companies started marketing vitamin supplements based on the amounts of those nutrients used in the AREDS study. However, by the time that study was published there were already several other published studies showing that lutein and zeaxanthin were a better choice than beta-carotene and that omega-3 fatty acids also significantly reduced the risk of macular degeneration. In addition, many experts felt that the amount of zinc used in the original AREDS formulation was too high.
So the National Eye Institute immediately started an AREDS 2 study with the revised formulation and most of the manufacturers of AREDS supplements started marketing AREDS 2 supplements. Our optometrist told us people interested in reducing the risk of macular degeneration really should be using the AREDS 2 supplements rather than the AREDS formulations offered by the same companies. Since he knew that we used Shaklee products he also asked us whether it was possible to get those nutrients in the right amount from Shaklee supplements.