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Saskatoon Retina Consultants
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General Health and Nutrition
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216 Heath Ave
Saskatoon, SK   S7S 0A7
Phone: 306-933-9336
Fax: 306-933-9313

Clinic hours are Monday - Friday 8:00-4:30.

General Health & Nutrition

There are many simple steps that you can take you improve your retinal health:
  • Eat a diet rich with fruits, vegetables and fish
  • Avoid smoking
  • Ensure that your blood sugars and blood pressure are in the normal range
  • Limit UV exposure
  • Consider ocular vitamin or multivitamin (Evidence of beneficial effects from Lutein and Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplementation)

What is the AREDS?

AREDS stands for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study. This was a large study carried out by the National Eye Institute in the USA. The goal of this study was to find a nutritional supplement which would reduce the chance of progression for patients with age-related macular degeneration. The result was an AREDS formula which reduced the risk of progression for patients with moderate macular degeneration by 25%.

What is the original AREDS formula?

  • Vitamin C 500mg
  • Vitamin E 400 IU
  • Beta carotene 15 mg
  • Zinc 80mg and Copper 2mg

Why do some formulas not include Beta-carotene?

Beta-carotene has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. As a result, a different formulation, which does not contain beta-carotene, is recommended for smokers.

What is AREDS2?

AREDS2 is a more recent study which attempted to refine and improve the original AREDS formula. They wanted to know if the addition of carotenoids (eg lutein) and omega-3 fatty acids was beneficial. The main results of AREDS2 were as follows:
  • Omega-3 Fatty acids were not effective at preventing progression
  • Beta-carotene was not very effective (and has safety concerns for smokers)
  • The carotenoids were slightly effective at preventing progression (are probably safer than Beta-carotene)

Which AREDS formula is best for me?

AREDS supplementation is indicated for people with intermediate or moderate macular degeneration. Our specialists can inform you whether or not you meet the criteria. We recommend a formula which is supported by the AREDS2 study. Many companies have not yet made new products which reflect the recent findings. The one preparation on the market currently which best addresses the AREDS2 results is the one designed for smokers with Lutein. This does not contain Beta-carotene. The recommended formulation is as follows:
  • Vitamin C 500mg
  • Vitamin E 400 IU
  • Zinc 80mg and Copper 2mg
  • Lutein 10mg and Zeaxanthin 2mg