Combination of EPA-DHA, Coenzyme Q10, and Acetyl-L-Carnitine protects the eye in early stage age-related macular degeneration

July 05, 2005

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 106 patients with early stage, age-related macular degeneration were placed on either a placebo or a combination of fish oil omega-3 fatty acids, Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 for one year. In the supplemented group, only 1 out of 48 cases (2%) went on to develop clinically significant worsening of the visual field, whereas 9 out of 53 patients on placebo (17%) developed significant worsening. There was significantly less drusen covered area in the supplemented group (drusen are tiny yellow or white deposits in the retina). The ability to distinguish fine details was significantly better in the supplemented group (visual acuity), as was foveal sensititivity - a pit in the macula that is most sensitive to light and is most responsible for sharp vision, and there was less alteration of the fundus - the structure at the back of the eye that includes the retina, the blood vessels, the optic disc, and the macula. The study is published in the May-June 2005 issue of the journal Ophthalmologica.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

The combination included 10mg of Coenzyme Q10, 100mg of Acetyl-L-Carnitine, 230mg of EPA and 160mg of DHA per serving. It is surprising that almost everything useful for memory or brain health, as these nutrients are, is also useful for vision, and for hearing.

Coenzyme Q10 protects dopamine receptor sites - the tissues damaged in Parkinson's disease

Exposure to the pesticide rotenone selectively destroys dopamine receptor sites and causes Parkinson's disease in laboratory animals. Rotenone destroys these cells at even low doses without destroying related cells. The mitochondria of cells stop producing energy, DNA fragments and cells die due to the pesticide. Pretreating these cells with Coenzyme Q10 prevented cell death, allowed the mitochondria to continue functioning and creating brain energy. The study is published in the June 2005 issue of The Journal of Neurochemistry.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Coenzyme Q10 occurs naturally in animals and humans. CoQ10 creates energy in the mitochondria and also prevents damage in fatty tissues (such as the brain), It protects lipids, proteins, and DNAS in our body. Decreased levels of CoQ10 are observed in many pathologies including heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases of the brain, cancer, and AIDS. CoQ10 is depleted by many drugs including those used for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. CoQ10 is very protective for the brain, eyes, gums, heart, liver, and kidneys. It is needed for muscular function.