• Can I take AREDS supplements for AMD without zinc and copper?


    Question:

    My ophthalmologist said I have early changes to the retina but no dry AMD yet. He’s suggesting I take AREDS-2 supplements, but I get sick when I take metallic supplements like copper and zinc. Would it be possible to take vitamin C, E, and lutein and have the same effect? Or are there substitutes for zinc and copper that would work?


    Answer:

    The Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) demonstrated the benefit of taking these supplements in preventing progression of early dry AMD to advanced dry or wet AMD. The benefit of taking the vitamins plus zinc and copper was greater than taking either alone, although there was still some help in taking just the vitamins. There are no substitutes for zinc and copper that have demonstrated any effectiveness.


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