Age-Related Eye Disease Study
- investigate the natural history and risk factors of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, and
- evaluate the effects of high doses of antioxidants and zinc on the progression of the two conditions in those with AMD
The study of 3600 individuals for an average of 6.3 years concluded that high levels of antioxidants and zinc can reduce some people's risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25 percent. Those that benefited from the dietary supplements included those with intermediate-stage AMD and those with advanced AMD in one eye only. The supplements had no significant effect on the development or progression of cataracts. "High levels" in this case were defined to be:
- 500 milligrams of vitamin C;
- 400 international units of vitamin E;
- 15 milligrams of beta-carotene (or 25,000 international units of vitamin A);
- 80 milligrams of the dietary mineral zinc, in the form of zinc oxide; and
- two milligrams of copper as cupric oxide, added to prevent copper deficiency anemia, a condition associated with high levels of zinc intake.
The results were reported in the October 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.
Bausch & Lomb was a collaborator in the study, and perhaps not coincidentally, provides vitamins pre-packaged with this formulation, as do other leading brands such as Viteyes.