Dietary Carotenoids and Vitamin A, E, and C Intake for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation may help lower the risk for age-related macular degeneration, a new study suggests.
Macular degeneration is a degenerative disease of the retina (a thin layer of nerve cells that lines the back of the eyeball) that causes progressive loss of central vision. The risk of developing macular degeneration increases with age. The disease most often affects people in their sixties and seventies. Macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 60.
Researchers from the EMMES Corporation in Maryland evaluated the relationship of dietary carotenoids, vitamin A, alpha-tocopherol and vitamin C with prevalent age-related macular degeneration in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study.
The study found that dietary lutein/zeaxanthin intake was inversely associated with neovascular age-related macular degeneration, geographic atrophy and large or extensive intermediate drusen, comparing the highest vs. lowest quintiles (fifths) of intake, after adjustment for total energy intake and nonnutrient-based covariates. Other nutrients were not independently related to age-related macular degeneration.
The study authors concluded that higher dietary intake of lutein/zeaxanthin was independently associated with decreased likelihood of having neovascular age-related macular degeneration, geographic atrophy and large or extensive intermediate drusen.
1. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. The Relationship of Dietary Carotenoid and Vitamin A, E, and C Intake With Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Case-Control Study: AREDS Report No. 22. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007 Sep;125(9):1225-32.