Can taking antioxidant vitamins and minerals help slow the progression of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

There is evidence that taking a specific combination of antioxidant vitamins and minerals may help slow down the progression (worsening) of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The potential benefit of taking such a supplement depends on your risk of AMD worsening, and whether it is affecting one or both of your eyes. The group of people most likely to benefit from taking a supplement are those who have a high risk of progression of their AMD. Some people might feel it may be worthwhile to take something that could help reduce the risk of sight loss from AMD, however, people with early AMD with a low risk of progression are generally less likely to benefit.   

Unfortunately, we cannot recommend that someone should take a supplement for AMD, or which one they should take. 

There are several brands of supplements marketed as containing the “AREDS2” formula. If you are considering taking a supplement for AMD, you should choose the ones marked as containing the AREDS2 formula, as these conform to the best evidence currently available. 

If you are not sure if a brand of supplement contains the AREDS2 formula, your GP or a pharmacist should be able to check this for you.

Further information on supplements and vitamins can be found on RNIB's Antioxidant vitamins for age-related macular degeneration webpage.

For information on how your diet and what you eat affects your eyes see Can what I eat affect my eyesight?

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