Lutein May Assist Visual Health in Cataract, AMD Patients

October 15, 2001

2 Min Read
Lutein May Assist Visual Health in Cataract, AMD Patients


Lutein May Assist Visual Health in Cataract, AMD Patients

LA GRANGE, Ill.--According to research published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (81:904-9, 2001), lutein ester supplements may improve vision in patients with cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as reported by VERIS Research Information Service. Five patients with cataracts took lutein ester capsules three times weekly for 26 months, and five patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) took lutein ester capsules three times weekly for 13 months. Each capsule contained 15 mg lutein esters and 3.3 mg of vitamin E. Patients with cataracts were monitored for visual acuity, glare sensitivity and contrast sensitivity. The patients with AMD were tested for visual acuity.

On average, cataract patients improved by 40 to 50 percent, approaching normal, and tolerance of glare also improved. The four patients with AMD who remained in the study showed stabilized or improved vision. None of the patients experienced any side effects, and all patients reported improved vision. Researchers concluded that lutein performed as an antioxidant since two oxidized lutein compounds increased in blood levels over time. Researchers also concluded that lutein ester supplements may improve visual function in people with age-related eye diseases.

"Lutein works as an antioxidant in the eye and has a great deal of scientific corroboration regarding its effectiveness in healthy vision," said Robert Abel, M.D., chairman of the Lutein Information Bureau. "Studies are scientifically proving that the combination of the essential vitamins--and lutein--benefit aging Americans and people at risk for macular degeneration. As a matter of fact, there is demonstrable evidence in healthy and donor eyes that lutein plays a more important role than beta-carotene in retinal health."

According to Lutein Information Bureau information, lutein and zeaxanthin are the major carotenoids present in the retina of healthy eyes. Lutein is an abundant carotenoid found in many fruits and vegetables and, in nature, protects cells against light-induced damage. Spinach and kale contain the highest levels of lutein, but it is also present in such foods as corn and egg yolks. For more information on lutein, visit Kemin, manufacturer and marketer of purified FloraGLO® brand lutein, at Booth #1619-1623 at SupplySide West.

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