Course Explores Utilizing Nutritional Supplements for AMD Risk

Close up of a healthy home-cooked meal on a plate which includes a grilled salmon fillet topped with arugula pesto accompanied by a green salad with avocado, romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots and red cabbage.
Steven Ferrucci, OD, details the use of vitamin supplements for these patients.

The following article is a part of Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference coverage of the Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) 2021, held in Atlanta and virtually from April 28 to May 2, 2021. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on the presentations offered by these leading experts in optometry and ophthalmology. Check back for more from the SECO 2021 Meeting.


Optometry is a primary care profession. With that in mind, Steven Ferrucci, OD, FAAO, of Marshall B. Ketchum University’s Southern California College of Optometry, believes that part of the optometrist’s role is to guide patients toward a lifestyle that maintains ocular health. Although age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has no effective means of prevention, nutritional and lifestyle changes may help patients at high risk stave off the disease.

In his Southeastern Educational College of Optometry (SECO) 2021 course, “Nutrition and the Retina,” Dr Ferrucci provides an overview of the findings of several studies on vitamin supplements and AMD. The conference was held April 28 to May 2 in Atlanta.

The course relies on data from both Age-Related Eye Disease Study major clinical trials (AREDS and AREDS2, Identifiers: NCT00000145 and NCT00345176, respectively). The course reviews both the findings that stemmed from those trials and their shortfalls. For example, while AREDS showed a 25% decrease in risk of developing advanced AMD in moderate and advanced AMD, there is a lack of clarity around how long someone at risk should continue taking supplements, Dr Ferrucci notes.

The course will highlight the results of studies on both particular dietary carotenoids and vitamins, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids. It will also cover the needs particular to patients with diabetes along with presenting the role of nutrition considering average Americans’ nutritional choices.

Dr Ferrucci will review specific nutritional products and which patients may benefit most from them.

Disclosure: The presenter declared affiliations with the biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.  

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Ferrucci S. Nutrition and the retina. Presented at: Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) 2021 Annual Meeting; April 28-May 2, 2021; Atlanta, GA. Course 129.