DSM and Kemin welcome the results of the latest trial to indicate that the nutritional intake of lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) may be beneficial for patients affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The LUTEGA study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, demonstrates that supplementation with a combination of lutein, zeaxanthin, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can result in increased concentrations of lutein, zeaxanthin and fatty acids in plasma and a significant improvement in the optical density of the macular pigment.
Carried out over a 12-month period, the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel clinical trial took place at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. A total of 172 individuals with nonexudative (dry form) AMD were recruited to evaluate the effects of the administration of either a capsule containing 10+1 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin and 100 mg DHA + 30 mg EPA or twice these dosages (20/2/200/60) on the plasma xanthophyll concentrations and fatty acid profiles, antioxidant capacity in plasma, and optical density of the macular pigment. The results demonstrate that the study supplementation significantly improved the plasma antioxidant capacity, circulating macular xanthophyll levels, and the optical density of the macular pigment. These are important factors that could help reducing the risk of progression to wet AMD, what would be particularly relevant in the studied population.
“AMD is a progressive disease that causes the degeneration of the macula, a yellow pigmented spot in the retina that is responsible for high acuity vision, leading to irreversible and dramatic impact upon vision and patient quality of life” explains Samanta Maci, senior manager of scientific affairs and technical services at Kemin. “Most commonly affecting people aged 50 and over, AMD is a growing concern amongst aging populations around the globe and the number of people diagnosed with early AMD is projected to double by 2020. Often referred to as the macular pigment, lutein and zeaxanthin are the only two dietary carotenoids that physiologically accumulate in the macula. By filtering out the high-energy blue light and reducing damage from free radicals, higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with a decreased risk of AMD and improved visual function.”