Particular Nutrients may help with macular degeneration and cataract

January 23, 2007

The number of people with age-related macular degeneration and cataract are increasing dramatically as the proportion of elderly in our population continues to rise. Researchers from Harvard Medical School state that a multiple supplement including vitamins and minerals with a combination of vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, and Zinc is recommended for macular degeneration. The results of observational studies suggests that a healthy lifestyle and a diet rich in antioxidants particularly Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids appears beneficial for age related macular-degeneration and possibly cataract. The study review is published in the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Combination of Carotenoids including Lutein, Lycopene, and Beta-Carotene reduce the risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease

In a study of 4,493 Black and White men and women aged 18-30 it was found that having high levels of particular carotenoids significantly reduced the risk of developing diabetes in these younger adults. The carotenoids were Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Carotene, (Lutein) Zeaxanthin, Lycopene, and Beta-Cryptoxanthin. The investigators from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health was based on findings from the 15 year long CARDIA Study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study). The other finding was do not smoke; almost nothing can protect you if you smoke. American Journal of Epidemiology, May 2006.

In the second analysis also based on the CARDIA Study, the researchers found that having higher serum levels of particular carotenoids decreased the risks to your blood vessels that lead to coronary heart disease. Four particular Carotenoids decreased fibrinogen levels, C-reactive protein levels, F2-isoporpostane levels and other markers of inflammation and cardiac risk in a large group of younger adults. These factors lead to blood vessel wall malfunction, inflammation, and free radical damage. The Carotenoids were Zeaxanthin/Lutein, Alpha-Carotene, Beta-Carotene, and Beta-Cryptoxanthin. The Carotenoids even had this effect in smokers as well as in non-smokers. The research is published in the January 18th, 2007 issue of the journal Clinical Chemistry.