Following the recent publication of the long-awaited AREDS 2 study, MacuHealth LLC is delighted to have its stated view endorsed, namely that supplementation with ALL THREE MACULAR CAROTENOIDS represents the best means of preventing progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
It is now clear, scientifically documented and beyond dispute that:
1. AREDS 2 has demonstrated that the inclusion of macular carotenoids results in risk reduction for progression of AMD in subjects with poor dietary intake of the macular carotenoids, and that a supplement should not contain beta-carotene because of the risk of lung cancer and because this compound reduces bioavailability of circulating macular carotenoids. Taken together with the known superiority of a formulation containing all three macular carotenoids, including the centrally dominant carotenoid meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), in terms of increasing macular pigment and in terms of improving visual function, the observed benefit of supplemental macular carotenoids in AREDS 2 will be optimized using a formulation that contains lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and MZ in a (mg) ratio of 10:10:2 (i.e. MacuHealth LMZ3).
2. Meso-zeaxanthin, which represents over 30% of macular pigment:
- Is proven to be the most potent antioxidant in the macula;1
- Was not part of the AREDS II study;
- The combination of L, Z and MZ is required to exert maximal collective antioxidant effect of these compounds, as their respectivelyantioxidant capacities are interactively additive.2
3. AREDS 2 has confirmed the findings of other studies by once again demonstrating that beta-carotene is associated with increased risk of lung cancer amongst smokers, and the study investigators recommend that this compound should not be used in a supplement designed to protect against AMD.3 Furthermore, beta-carotene was shown to be associated with reduced serum bioavailability of circulating macular carotenoids, probably because of competition for of absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
4. AREDS 2 reported no beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA) for treatment of AMD.
5. It is not the case that all formulations containing L, Z and/or MZ, are the same in either claimed content or in terms of stability of constituent compounds. For example, a powder-based formula oxidizes quickly, thereby degrading the carotenoids.
6. A supplement containing 10 mg of lutein, 2 mg of zeaxanthin and 10 mg of meso-zeaxanthin is the ONLY formula to have demonstrated dramatic and rapid rises in macular pigment levels and consequential improvements in visual function.4