Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study, called “AREDS” for short, was a major landmark medical study sponsored by the National Eye Institute, one of the federal government's National Institutes of Health. It followed about 3,600 participants with varying stages of AMD to see if taking high levels of antioxidant vitamins and zinc over a long period could reduce the risk of developing advanced AMD.

The landmark AREDS study showed that patients diagnosed with moderate to advanced AMD who are most at risk for progression to advanced disease decreased that risk by 25% and reduced the risk of AMD-associated vision loss by 19% by taking a high-potency antioxidant and mineral supplement every day.1,2*.*

Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2)

Emerging scientific research suggests that there may be other nutrients that may also have a protective effect in AMD. These new nutrients are lutein, and zeaxanthin. When AREDS was started, lutein and zeaxanthin were not readily available, so they were not tested in the study. Now, many researchers believe that lutein and zeaxanthin may be more significant for macular health.3

A second nationwide study just concluded and known as AREDS2 showed that lutein and zeaxanthin were just as protective as beta-carotene, which was a component of the original AREDS study.


AREDS2 is a registered trademark of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). AREDS2® is an ongoing study that ended in 2013.



1. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with Vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS Report No. 8. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001:119(10):1417-1436.

2. PreserVision® Eye Vitamin AREDS Soft Gel formula. Bausch & Lomb Web site Accessed January 7, 2010.

3. Whitehead AJ, Mares JA, Danis RP.Macular pigment: a review of current knowledge. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 Jul;124(7):1038-45.