Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Mixed-Carotenes Reduce AMD in Study

Boston, MA—A group of researchers from various institutions including Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Brown University and Harvard Medical School have published a study in JAMA Ophthalmology suggesting that certain nutrients may lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The researchers analyzed data previously collected in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in the United States. All told, their analysis involved information from 63,443 women and 38,603 collected 1984–2010. At baseline, all participants were age 50 or older and free of diagnosed AMD, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Over the course of 26 years, 2,479 people developed AMD (including 1,361 intermediate and 1118 advanced cases). “Higher intake of bioavailable lutein/zeaxanthin is associated with a long-term reduced risk of advanced AMD,” the researchers found. Other carotenoids, like beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene, demonstrated 25–35% lower risks of developing advanced AMD.

“This large and over a decade study confirms that alpha- and beta-carotene play an important role in supporting eye health (AMD), when taking together with lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin,” says CheeYen Lau, nutritionist at ExcelVite. 

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2016 (online 1/21/16)