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Genetic Testing for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Supplements

Question:
My optometrist recommended genetic testing to determine the effectiveness of various supplements for AMD. What is the evidence for doing this?
Reviewed and edited by Tod Cooperman, M.D. Tod Cooperman, M.D.
Initial Posting: 12/11/2019    Last Update: 12/11/2019

Answer:
As described in the Vision Supplements Review, certain genetic variations , or polymorphisms (more details about the specific genes are found in the Review), are associated with higher or lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These variations, in turn, have been associated with better or worse outcomes from supplementation with antioxidants and zinc known to generally reduce the progression of AMD. However, as explained in the Vision Supplements Review, it has yet to be proven that genetic testing will result in a better outcome in guiding the use of supplements for treating AMD, so it seems premature to rely on these tests to determine supplementation. 

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COMMENTS

Keith18719   December 11, 2019
I suggest that the answer depends upon a person's risk, or perceived risk, of AMD. If genetic testing reveals polymorphisms associated with a high risk of AMD, why not take some supplements that might mitigate that potential risk, rather than waiting (perhaps years) for adequate research to "prove" the benefit?

ConsumerLab.com   December 11, 2019
Certainly that would be fine. The benefit of the supplement has already been generally proven in the AMD population studied. The point here is that genetic testing cannot yet be relied upon to tell you how effective the supplement will or won't be specifically for you.

Melissa18721   December 11, 2019
I agree.


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This CL Answer initially posted on 12/11/2019.
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