West and colleagues1 do readers of the Archives a disservice by presenting unfounded conclusions and by presumptuously making a clinical recommendation based on highly questionable, incomplete, and inadequate data.
The serum samples that were analyzed to determine certain antioxidant levels and what the authors call their antioxidant index were drawn at least 2 years before the photographs analyzed for macular degeneration were made. In fact, it is unclear exactly how many years elapsed between the drawing of the blood samples and the taking of stereo fundus color photographs. The dates presented in the "Methods" section suggest that at least 4, if not 6, years elapsed.
The data concerning the potential protective effect of various antioxidants are not news.2-4 Was the word "supplements" used in the title to add current interest?
The data concerning supplements are sketchy, and the treatment of this question is cavalier. Data concerning supplement
Newsome DA. Are Antioxidants or Supplements Protective for Age-Related Macular Degeneration? Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(6):729–730. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090180027007
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