Lutein + Zeaxanthin along with Vitamins C and E and the mineral Zinc preserve vision in sick eyes

July 03, 2009

Researchers from the Queen’s University Centre of Vision and Vascular Science and the Waterford Institute of Technology reported that a supplement containing high amounts of the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin in addition to the antioxidant nutrients zinc and vitamins C and E, helped preserve macular pigments in patients with age related macular degeneration (AMD), retarding the progression of early to late stage disease. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among older individuals.

433 subjects with early stage macular degeneration received the nutritional supplement or a placebo. The subjects, whose average age was 77 upon enrollment, were followed from October, 2004 to March, 2008. While participants who received the placebo experienced a steady decline in protective macular pigments, these pigments were preserved in those who received Lutein and Zeaxanthin. The researchers state that “Late AMD causes severe sight loss and has a huge economic impact both in terms of the effects of sight loss itself and in terms of the expensive treatments that are needed to deal with the condition.” “These findings are important because this is the first randomized controlled clinical trial to document a beneficial effect through improved function and maintained macular pigments” they note. The research is available on the Queen’s University Centre of Vision and Vascular Science website.