• This article published in the March-April issue of the European Journal of Ophthalmology presents two-year results of the prospective open-label Cartenoids in Age-Related Maculopathy Italian study (CARMIS), which was conducted to determine whether targeted nutritional supplementation improves visual acuity and function in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients. The results suggest that patients randomized to receive lutein/zeaxanthin and other antioxidants were more likely to experience clinically meaningful stabilization or improvement in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and visual function than controls, who did not receive any supplementation.

    The study included 145 patients. The interventional group took daily nutritional supplementation incorporating carotenoids, oligoelements and antioxidant vitamins: oral vitamin C (180 mg), vitamin E (30 mg), zinc (22.5 mg), copper (1 mg), lutein (10 mg), zeaxanthin (1 mg) and astaxanthin (4 mg).

    Visual acuity stabilized in the treated group, with had significantly better visual acuity scores compared to the control group at 24 months (81.4 vs. 76.8). Contrast sensitivity and final mean NEI VFQ-25 composite scores at 12 and 24 months were also significantly higher in treated group.

    The authors conclude that these findings on the role of lutein/zeaxanthin in the retina, together with the improvement measured in visual acuity and visual quality, suggest that antioxidant supplementation may be useful for preserving visual function in AMD patients. They recommend further studies to evaluate the long-term effect of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals on patients with atrophic AMD.