A combination of antioxidant pigments and vitamins may slow down sight loss in elderly people, according to researchers from Queen’s University, Belfast.
The study used a commercial supplement containing lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and zinc.
Results of the Carotenoids in Age-Related Maculopathy (CARMA) study indicated that intake of high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin preserved the macular pigments. On the other hand, the macular pigments of participants in a placebo group declined steadily.
«These findings are important because this is the first randomised controlled clinical trial to document a beneficial effect through improved function and maintained macular pigments,” said the study’s coordinator, Professor Usha Chakravarthy, from Queen’s Centre of Vision and Vascular Science (CVVS).
“Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to identify the numbers needed to treat to prevent 1 case from progressing from early to late AMD,» she added.
According to the study protocol, published last year in Ophthalmic Epidemiology (Vol. 15, pp. 389-401), the Carotenoids in Age-Related Maculopathy (CARMA) study is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial involving 433 participants with early AMD features in at least one eye or any level of AMD in one eye with late AMD in the other eye.
“The aim of the CARMA Study is to investigate whether lutein and zeaxanthin, in combination with co-antioxidants (vitamin C, E, and zinc), has a beneficial effect on visual function and/or prevention of progression from early to late stages of disease,” state the researchers in Ophthalmic Epidemiology.
Study is ongoing, but it appears the combination of nutrients does indeed show potential against AMD.
By Stephen Daniells, 24-Jun-2009