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This randomized controlled trial examined serum and macular (in vivo measured macular pigment optical density [MPOD]) responses to supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin in Chinese subjects with early age-related macular degeneration. One hundred and eight patients with early age-related macular degeneration older than 50 y were randomized to low lutein (LL; 10 mg/d), high lutein (HL; 20 mg/d), lutein plus zeaxanthin (LZ; each 10 mg/d), or placebo during a 48-wk intervention. Serum concentrations were quantified by C(30) high-performance liquid chromatography (at baseline and 4, 12, 24, and 48 wk), and MPOD was measured by analysis of autofluorescence images (at baseline and 24 and 48 wk). Serum lutein levels in the LL, LZ, and HL groups increased significantly in the first 4 wk and then increased 4.24-, 4.66-, and 6.23-fold during the trial, respectively (all P < 0.001). The serum lutein level in the HL group was significantly higher than that in the LL or LZ group at 48 wk (P < 0.05). Similarly, the serum zeaxanthin concentration in the LZ group increased 3.11-fold at 48 wk. MPOD increased smoothly in all treated groups, and the increase from baseline was greatest in the HL group at 24 and 48 wk (both P < 0.05). MPOD and serum lutein levels increased linearly with the dosage and their increasing rates were statistically correlated (all P < 0.05). No notable changes were detected in the placebo group for MPOD and serum concentrations. Xanthophyll supplementation significantly increased serum concentrations and MPOD in patients with early age-related macular degeneration, and a higher lutein supplementation (20 mg/d) might be more effective in increasing these two biochemical markers in Chinese patients without significant side effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Yang-Mu Huang, Shao-Fang Yan, Le Ma, Zhi-Yong Zou, Xian-Rong Xu, Hong-Liang Dou, Xiao-Ming Lin. Serum and macular responses to multiple xanthophyll supplements in patients with early age-related macular degeneration. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.). 2013 Feb;29(2):387-92

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PMID: 23312760

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