Dietary Supplement Examined for Effects on Macular Pigment Density

In offspring of macular degeneration patients, lutein plus zeaxanthin did not lead to density change
In offspring of macular degeneration patients, lutein plus zeaxanthin did not lead to density change

HealthDay News — Dietary supplementation does not lead to measurable increases in macular pigment optical density, according to a study published online September 28 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Jean-François Korobelnik, MD, from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Bordeaux in France, and colleagues randomized 120 individuals who were first-generation offspring of parents with neovascular age-related macular degeneration and were free of any ocular or retinal disease to receive either 2 daily dietary supplementation capsules (containing lutein, zeaxanthin, ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins), or placebo for 6 months.

The researchers found that there was a statistically significant increase in plasma lutein and zeaxanthin in the lutein plus zeaxanthin group after 3 months and 6 months of treatment versus the placebo group. However, the difference in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) change, measured by the Heidelberg Retina Angiograph at 0.98 degrees eccentricity between six months and baseline, was 0.036 (P=0.33). 

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"Further research is necessary to understand the mechanism of absorption and metabolism of these nutrients in the macula, the best way to measure MPOD, and the clinical benefit for the patients," conclude the authors.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Laboratoires Théa, which funded the study.

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