The study was led by Emily Chew, of the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, and involved over 4,000 people between 50 and 85 years of age over a period of five years. The researchers found that adding omega-3 fatty acids to the "AREDS" formula, short for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, did not provide any additional benefits though removing beta-carotene and including lutein and zeaxathin not only provided a small increase in protection but also came with no increase in lung cancer risk.
"Lutein and zeaxanthin are the main components of the macular pigment. DHA is a major structural component of the retina, and EPA may play a role as a precursor to signaling molecules with potential to influence retinal function, providing biological bases for testing these nutrients", the researchers wrote in their report.
The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.