Enrichment of macular pigment enhances contrast sensitivity in subjects free of retinal disease: Central retinal enrichment supplementation trials - Report 1

John M. Nolan, Rebecca Power, Jim Stringham, Jessica Dennison, Jim Stack, David Kelly, Rachel Moran, Kwadwo O. Akuffo, Laura Corcoran, Stephen Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE. The high-performance visual function associated with central vision is mediated by the macula (the central retina), which accumulates three diet-derived pigments (the carotenoids lutein [L], zeaxanthin [Z], and meso-zeaxanthin [MZ]). Our study sought to investigate the impact on visual function, including contrast sensitivity (CS), of supplementation with these naturally occurring carotenoids, in individuals with low retinal concentrations. METHODS. Subjects consumed daily a formulation containing 10 mg L, 2 mg Z, and 10 mg MZ (active group; n = 53) or placebo (n = 52) for a period of 12 months. Study visits were at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months. Contrast sensitivity at 6 cycles per degree (cpd) was the primary outcome measure (POM). Secondary outcome measures included CS at other spatial frequencies, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), glare disability, photostress recovery, and light scatter. Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was measured using dual-wavelength autofluorescence, and serum carotenoid concentrations were analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). RESULTS. Compared to placebo, statistically significant improvements from baseline CS were detected at 6 (P = 0.002) and 1.2 (P = 0.004) cpd in the active group. Additionally, improvements in CS were commensurate with the observed increases in retinal concentrations of these carotenoids (r = 0.342, P = 0.002 at 6 cpd). CONCLUSIONS. These results indicate that dietary fortification with the macular carotenoids can have meaningful effects on visual function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3429-3439
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume57
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Glare disability
  • Lutein
  • Macular pigment
  • Meso-zeaxanthin
  • Randomized clinical trial
  • Visual acuity
  • Visual function

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