NOV 02, 2012
This prospective study found that early functional abnormalities of the central retina in early AMD patients could be improved by lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation, and that these improvements may potentially be attributed to elevations in macular pigment optical densities.
The authors conducted a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effects of 48-week supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin on retinal function by mfERG in 108 subjects with early AMD. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive 10 mg/d lutein, 20 mg/d lutein, 10 mg/d lutein plus 10 mg/d zeaxanthin, or placebo for 48 weeks. Thirty-six age-matched controls without AMD were also enrolled to compare baseline data.
They found that lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation in these early AMD patients resulted in significant increases in N1P1 response densities in the central retina associated with early abnormalities of retinal function. Moreover, the improvement of N1P1 response densities was positively associated with the elevation of macular pigment optical density, suggesting a causative effect of macular pigment level on retinal function.
They conclude that these results demonstrate that combined supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin is effective for treating macular dysfunction in the central retina in early AMD patients. Additional larger studies, however, will be needed to validate these findings and should evaluate the long-term effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on reducing the risk of AMD progression.