Supplementation with all three macular carotenoids: Response, stability, and safety

Eithne E. Connolly, Stephen Beatty, James Loughman, Alan N. Howard, Michael S. Louw, John M. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. This study was designed to investigate serum and macular response to, and safety of supplementation with, meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), lutein (L), and zeaxanthin (Z), the carotenoids that constitute macular pigment (MP). Methods. Forty-four healthy subjects were recruited into this randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Subjects consumed one tablet per day containing 10.6 mg MZ, 5.9 mg L, and 1.2 mg Z (intervention, I group) or placebo (P group). The spatial profile of MP optical density (MPOD) was measured with customized heterochromatic flicker photometry (cHFP), and serum concentrations of L and Z were quantified by using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Subjects were assessed at baseline and at 3 and 6 months. Clinical pathology analysis was performed at baseline and 6 months. Results. Serum concentrations of L and Z increased significantly in the I group (P = 0.001 and 0.003, respectively) and remained stable in the P group (P > 0.05). There was a significant increase in central MPOD in the I group (0.25°: P = 0.001; 0.5°: P = 0.001), with no significant change in the P group (P > 0.05). Clinical pathology analysis confirmed that all variables remained within the normal reference range, with the exception of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which exhibited baseline values outside the accepted normal reference range before supplementation. Conclusions. Subjects supplemented with MZ, L, and Z exhibited significant increases in serum concentrations of these carotenoids and a subsequent increase in central MPOD. Pathology analysis suggested no adverse clinical implications of consuming these carotenoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9207-9217
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


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