Formulated by Joseph Holbrook, OccuGuard is an eye vitamin and mineral supplement that promises to protect, restore, and renew your vision from age-related decay, ultimately giving you stronger, sharper, clearer eyesight.
The manufacturer tells us their supplement contains the same ingredients shown in clinical studies, and in the same amounts, to rebuild any macular pigment you may have lost—without contacts, prescriptions, or laser procedures.
Furthermore, the site indicates OccuGuard’s nutrients form a rock-solid barrier against the harmful blue light rays, all of which are delivered via cutting edge micro encapsulation technology that allows them to be readily absorbed by your body.
Bottom line: Will this supplement help bulletproof your body against the ravages of aging, as claimed on its website? Can you realistically expect OccuGuard to help you regain 20/20 vision?
Next, we’ll discuss a few basics that can help build and solid foundation we can use to address many of OccuGuard’s central claims.
What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Located on the retina—the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that’s largely responsible for forming visual images—is a small, dark spot called the macula. This area is what helps provide us with fine, pinpoint central (versus peripheral) vision.
With age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the cells and blood vessels that support the macula can slowly deteriorate with age, leading to weakened vision.
Although it’s not known exactly why this deterioration occurs, the American Macular Degeneration Foundation reports that most people don’t even realize they have AMD until they’re experiencing later stages, including darkness, blurriness, or whiteouts in the center of their sight.
Eventually, this degeneration can lead to blindness in a worst-case scenario, which is why it’s so important to undergo regular eye exams.
What about the blue light rays frequently emphasized in the OccuGuard promotional video? Does it impact AMD in any meaningful way?
After interviewing Dr. Adam Gordon, O.D., clinical associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, Alicia Rohan had this to say in a 2016 article:
“There is some early laboratory research using animal models that suggests excessive blue light exposure can damage some sensitive cell layers of the retina. There is no clinical evidence at the present time that links blue light exposure from digital devices to any pathology or disease of the eye.”
In other words, “Macular degeneration and other eye diseases in relation to blue light is the great unknown. The main risk factors for these eye diseases are age, genetic factors, UV light, smoking and poor nutrition more than digital device use,” she concludes.
To address AMD, common treatments include direct injections, laser therapy, surgery, and even some vitamins. Which vitamins, specifically?
The Clinical Evidence For OccuGuard’s Ingredients
No label was provided in the nearly hour-long OccuGuard video, so we requested a copy from the company, who responded quickly:
According to the Supplement Facts label we received from customer support, OccuGuard’s formula contains a blend of three ingredients. Image credit: Nova Nutritionals Pte. Ltd.
Is there clinical proof that any of these ingredients are beneficial for age-related macular degeneration?
The National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) looked at a formula containing vitamin C (500mg), vitamin E (400IU), beta-carotene (15mg), zinc (25mg), copper (2mg), lutein (10mg), zeaxanthin (2mg), and omega-3 fatty acids (350 mg DHA and 650 mg EPA). According to their patient FAQ site:
“There is no known treatment that can prevent the early stages of AMD. However, the AREDS formulations may delay progression of advanced AMD and help you keep your vision longer if you have intermediate AMD, or advanced AMD in one eye. The participants in the first AREDS trial have now been followed for 10 years, and the benefits of the AREDS formulation have persisted over this time.”
Even on their own, though, sites like the Natural Medicines Database (NMD), WebMD, and Examine.com indicate that taking between 6.9 to 11.7 mg of lutein per day (whether through supplementation or food sources) could help reduce the risk of AMD. 10mg per day was also shown to help reduce the condition’s symptoms.
And while WebMD indicates that 2mg of zeaxanthin (not the proprietary ZeaONE version, specifically) can help deliver much of the same, none of these other sites listed the ingredient—or the closely-named astaxanthin—as effective for any condition on their own.
Bottom line: By taking one capsule of OccuGuard per day, we can see that it delivers roughly half the dosages of lutein and zeaxanthin found in the AREDS2 study and that are recommended by authoritative sites. It also doesn’t contain any of the additional ingredients referenced in the study.
What About Potential OccuGuard Side Effects?
The NMD, WebMD, and Examine.com didn’t list any specific side effects under any circumstances for lutein and zeaxanthin.
However, WebMD reported as much as 15mg of lutein daily has been used safely in clinical trials for up to two years—again, often in conjunction with zeaxanthin.
How Much Does OccuGuard Cost?
The OccuGuard supplement is available in the following quantities:
- 1 Bottle (60 capsules): $49.95
- 3 Bottles: $119.95 ($39.98 per bottle)
- 6 Bottles: $199.95 ($33.32 per bottle)
With the single bottle order, you’ll receive a copy of Joseph Holbrook’s “Eye Food: A Food Plan For Healthy Vision” e-book. If you order three bottles, you'll also receive “The Eye Workout: How to beat Eye Disease For Life,” while the six-bottle option will add the third e-book, “101 Astonishing Health Secrets Manual.”
Customer support let us know that this is a one-time purchase only; no autoship programs are involved.
They also advised us that all OccuGuard orders come with free worldwide shipping and handling. However, duties and taxes—which are not included in the purchase price—are always the buyer’s responsibility. If you have any questions, they recommended contacting your local customs authority.
Important note: After clicking on any of the ordering options on OccuGuard’s main website, we were taken to a separate window where the only choice was to log into a PayPal account.
Given this, and without displaying a clear total (such as S&H charges) beforehand, or providing a copy of the terms and conditions, where potential recurring autoship programs are typically explained, it’s our opinion that you should proceed cautiously.
When asked about this, support responded, “Kindly be informed that PayPal is our online retail merchant who handles all of our transactions. But of course, anyone can use their own debit or credit card for payment besides PayPal.” However, this alternate option wasn’t presented when we attempted to check out—at least not without handing over PayPal login credentials.
How does everything we've discussed so far stack up against the competition?
OccuGuard vs. Other Vision Supplements
Google Shopping listed dozens of lutein and zeaxanthin supplements at the time of our research, most of which ranged in price between $10 and $20, with some as low as $8 and others as high as $54.
While we didn’t encounter any local options, many of these were sold through well-known manufacturers with mostly positive online customer feedback, and which contained the same core ingredients as OccuGuard.
According to the AREDS2 summary referenced earlier, if you’re wondering which formulation you should take, start by consulting with “your doctor or eye care professional about which supplement, if any, is right for you.”
From there, based our extensive experience writing about dietary supplements, you’ll want to focus on options that:
- Provide a complete list of ingredients, including dosages
- Offer clinical support for their ingredients
- Are manufactured by reputable companies with mostly positive online customer feedback
- Are priced competitively and avoid mandatory recurring shipping programs
Before applying these criteria toward OccuGuard and wrapping up, let’s take a quick glance at the person behind the supplement.
Who Is Joseph Holbrook?
While it’s common for e-book authors and video hosts to assume pseudonyms, searching online for this name returned no relevant results at the time of our research.
However, in the promo video, you’ll notice that behind ‘Joseph’ on the set is a certificate. The only section we could see read “President’s Award AMTA North Carolina,” which seems to reference either American Massage Therapy Association or the American Modeling Teachers Association.
We didn’t find any online references that combined his name with either of these organizations. Customer service ensured us that “Joseph Holbrook is a real person. However, due to company policy, we are unable to disclose [a link to his credentials].”
Our Final Thoughts About the OccuGuard Supplement
Whether we’re talking about the need for supplementation in general, the AMD formulation referenced by the AREDS2, or lutein/zeaxanthin supplements specifically, the starting advice is usually the same: Check with your doctor.
Why? They’ll ask the right questions and, if necessary, order the appropriate tests to properly diagnose what you’re experiencing. From there, they can discuss different options that might address your specific needs.
With this said, many authoritative sites like the Natural Medicines Database, WebMD, and the National Eye Institute indicate that both lutein and zeaxanthin could be potentially helpful for reducing the risk of AMD, as well as for addressing its symptoms after it’s appeared.
However, we think it’s important to keep your expectations realistic, as none of these sites indicated clinical support for the claim that they can help individuals regain 20/20 vision, as mentioned in the OccuGuard video.
In the end, customer support responded to our inquiry, and also seemed to make a real effort to answer most of our questions. So, if OccuGuard ultimately doesn't work for you, we'd imagine they could quickly have you set up to take advantage of their one-year guarantee. Just keep in mind that you might be out some money in return S&H charges, depending on your location.