Do nutritional supplements have a role in age macular degeneration prevention?

J Ophthalmol. 2014;2014:901686. doi: 10.1155/2014/901686. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

Abstract

Purpose. To review the proposed pathogenic mechanisms of age macular degeneration (AMD), as well as the role of antioxidants (AOX) and omega-3 fatty acids ( ω -3) supplements in AMD prevention. Materials and Methods. Current knowledge on the cellular/molecular mechanisms of AMD and the epidemiologic/experimental studies on the effects of AOX and ω -3 were addressed all together with the scientific evidence and the personal opinion of professionals involved in the Retina Group of the OFTARED (Spain). Results. High dietary intakes of ω -3 and macular pigments lutein/zeaxanthin are associated with lower risk of prevalence and incidence in AMD. The Age-Related Eye Disease study (AREDS) showed a beneficial effect of high doses of vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, and zinc/copper in reducing the rate of progression to advanced AMD in patients with intermediate AMD or with one-sided late AMD. The AREDS-2 study has shown that lutein and zeaxanthin may substitute beta-carotene because of its potential relationship with increased lung cancer incidence. Conclusion. Research has proved that elder people with poor diets, especially with low AOX and ω -3 micronutrients intake and subsequently having low plasmatic levels, are more prone to developing AMD. Micronutrient supplementation enhances antioxidant defense and healthy eyes and might prevent/retard/modify AMD.

Publication types

  • Review