Harvard Men's Health Watch

New eye vitamin mix for vision loss is no better than older one

Adding new ingredients to the cocktail of "eye vitamins" people take for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) doesn't improve the effect of the therapy, according to a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association. AMD causes vision loss in later life by damaging the part of the eye that provides clear central vision.

If the AMD is found early, taking a daily mix of vitamins A, C, and E plus zinc and copper can slow or stop its progression in about a quarter of cases. In a National Institutes of Health study, researchers tested whether adding omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin would protect vision better than the older cocktail. The new formulation didn't slow vision loss any more than the established mix. Men over 60 could potentially benefit from eye vitamins by having regular eye exams to catch AMD as early as possible.

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