Nutritional and Lifestyle Interventions for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Review

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017:2017:6469138. doi: 10.1155/2017/6469138. Epub 2017 Jan 5.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. In this narrative review, we will summarize the nutritional interventions evaluated in numerous observational studies and a few randomized clinical trials. The AREDS and AREDS2 studies demonstrated that supplements including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc may reduce the progression to advanced AMD, in some patients, by 25% in five years. This is one of the few nutritional supplements known to have beneficial effects in any eye disease. Lutein/zeaxanthin supplementation may have beneficial effects in some individuals whereas omega-3 fatty acids supplementation needs to be further investigated and supported by more evidence. Genetic factors may explain the different patterns of response and explain differences found among individuals. More importantly, a combination of lifestyle behaviors such as the avoidance of smoking, physical activity, and the adoption of a healthy dietary pattern like the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower prevalence of AMD. The adoption of these lifestyles may reduce the prevalence of the early stages of AMD and decrease the number of individuals who develop advanced AMD and consequently the onerous and climbing costs associated with the treatment of this disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diet
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Macular Degeneration / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic