Do lutein, zeaxanthin and macular pigment optical density differ with age or age-related maculopathy?

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Abstract

Background and aims: Current age-related macular disease (ARMD) treatment includes antioxidant supplementation. Lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) are antioxidants that make up macular pigment within the retina and may reduce the risk of developing ARMD. Ageing and smoking are leading risk factors for developing ARMD. We investigated differences in dietary, supplemental and retinal L and Z, and smoking habits in healthy younger eyes (HY), healthy older eyes (HO) and eyes with an early form of ARMD called age-related maculopathy (ARM). Methods: HO, HY and ARM groups were assessed for dietary intakes of L and Z using food diaries. Smoking habits and self-administered quantities of L and Z were obtained via questionnaire. Retinal L and Z levels (macular pigment optical density, or MPOD) were determined using heterochromatic flicker photometry. Results: No significant difference was demonstrated for dietary L and Z intake (χ 2 = 4.983, p = 0.083) or for MPOD between groups (F = 0.40, p = 0.67). There was a significant difference between the HY (mean ± sd: 1.20 ± 2.99), HO (4.51 ± 7.05) ARM groups (9.15 ± 12.28) for pack years smoked (χ 2 = 11.61, p = 0.03). Conclusions: Our results do not support the theory that ARM develops as a result of L and Z deficiency. Higher pack years smoked may be a factor in disease development. Dietary and supplementary L and Z levels must be obtained when assessing MPOD between groups or over time. © 2011 European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.

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Berrow, E. J., Bartlett, H. E., & Eperjesi, F. (2011). Do lutein, zeaxanthin and macular pigment optical density differ with age or age-related maculopathy? E-SPEN, 6(4). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclnm.2011.05.003

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