Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Prevent AMD?

Vaidehi S. Dedania, MD; Sophie J. Bakri, MD


January 16, 2014

In This Article

Strengths and Limitations of the Study

The strengths of this study are the high rates of compliance with the treatment regimen, low rates of loss to follow-up, and a large study population.

The inability to generalize the study results across all populations is a limitation, because this was a highly selective study population of educated and well-nourished individuals.

Other limitations include the inability to assess the increased risk for lung cancer mortality associated with beta carotene (because only a competing risk analysis was performed), the use of an altered AREDS1 formulation, and a complex study design. Adjustments were made to the AREDS1 formulation with the assumption that there is little interaction among the different components of the formulation, which may not be correct, because there is a potential competitive interaction among carotenoids.

Finally, no true placebo group was studied, because the control group consisted of participants taking the AREDS1 formulation.


AREDS2 failed to confirm any positive effect from DHA + EPA, despite the hope of many ophthalmologists on the basis of previous preclinical and clinical studies of omega-3 fatty acids. The study showed a protective effect of lutein + zeaxanthin on progression to advanced AMD, with omission of beta carotene.



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