Antioxidants, Omega-3 Fail to Halt Macular Degeneration

Sometimes what seems promising at first may not be true when studied further. AREDS2 unfortunately did not live up to the early promise of the initial AREDS trial to study if taking antioxidants would halt macular degeneration, an important cause of blindness. Medscape reports

SEATTLE, Washington — Antioxidant and omega-3 supplements do not reduce the risk for advanced macular degeneration, according to results from the highly anticipated Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2).

Although the primary results are disappointing, important clinical messages emerged during its presentation here at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2013 Annual Meeting. The results were published online May 5 in the JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with their presentation.

The new data point to ways to change the nutritional formulation from the initial AREDS trial to reduce potential risks without sacrificing benefit for people at high risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration (Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119:1417-1436).

Bottom line is we need evidence to substantiate what we recommend and clinical trials are important.