Clinicians who recommend national brand-name and generic multivitamin formulations for AMD can be relatively confident the product labeling is accurate, a study in the American Journal of Ophthalmology reports.

Researchers from the University of Louisville in Kentucky analyzed the concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper in national and regional brands of dietary supplements for patients who were at risk for AMD.

 “The key finding was that both national brand-name vitamin and generic vitamin preparations were relatively accurate in product labeling, although some brands had lower concentrations of vitamins than recommended in AREDS 2 formulation,” says researcher Charles C. Barr, MD.

Patients can buy generic vitamins and be relatively confidant that they are getting an appropriate product to help prevent progression of macular degeneration, he adds.

“However, there are different preparations of vitamins that have the same name, so consumers must be careful that the product they buy has the AREDS 2 formula,” he adds.

The investigators found all national brand-name vitamins—both tablet and gel capsule formulations—and generic brands in tablet form, were relatively accurate in their product labeling. For the majority of the samples tested, the measured quantities of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper were slightly higher than what was written on the label, but not to an amount that would cause any systemic toxicity if taken at the recommended dosages, the researchers noted.

Fleissig E, Apenbrinck E, Zhang X Barr CC. Vitamin analysis comparison study. American Journal of Ophthalmology. August 20, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].