Eye Vitamins: Part 6 – What’s all the talk about zinc? Page 2 NEW

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To be clear, the 2008 Klein & colleagues’ study on the previous page and all the studies to come used the data including DNA from AREDS even though the results of AREDS2 were released in 2013.  The 2013 AREDS2 research did NOT include a placebo group but 2001 AREDS did.  Many researchers have criticized the methodology of AREDS2 for that (and for other) reasons.

The genes ARMS2 and CFH were studied in more detail in terms of specific genotypes and risk alleles.  Don’t know what genotypes and risk alleles are?  Click here for A Quick Explanation of Genotypes.

2013 The zinc controversy begins

Dr. Awh and colleagues analyzed the DNA from AREDS  of people with intermediate/moderate and advanced AMD in one eye & published a paper in Ophthalmology: CFH and ARMS2 Genetic Polymorphisms Predict Response to Antioxidants and Zinc in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration.  The results showed that two genes, CFH (for Complement Factor H) and ARMS2 (for Age-Related Maculopathy Susceptibility), affect the response to the AREDS formulation.

These are the findings of Awh & colleagues:

  • People with no CFH risk alleles and with 1 or 2 ARMS2 risk alleles (C0A1 and C0A2) benefited from the zinc-only treatment.
  • People with one or two CFH risk alleles and no ARMS2 risk alleles (C2A0 an C1A0) benefited from antioxidant-only treatment.  Treatment with zinc was associated with increased progression to advanced AMD.

This was the first publication to suggest that a subset of people, specifically with the C2A0 genotype, might be harmed if treated with the AREDS formulation. It appeared to be the high doses of zinc (80 mg) that were either very helpful or harmful.

2013-2014 Unintended harm from the zinc?

Debate Over the Value of Genetic Markers for AMD Continues

Updated 2/14/2018

2013 Awh: CFH and ARMS2 Genetic Polymorphisms Predict Response to Antioxidants and Zinc in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration.

More information about 2013 Awh & colleagues research: AMD Risk Alleles Predict Response to Nutritional Supplementation: Genotype-directed nutritional therapy could result in improved outcomes for individuals with moderate AMD.

 

 

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