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      The Effects of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Supplementation on Brain Morphology in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial


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          A growing literature emphasizes the importance of lifestyle factors such as nutrition in successful aging. The current study examined if one year of supplementation with lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z), two nutrients with known antioxidative properties and cognitive benefits, impacted structural brain outcomes in older adults using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial design. Community-dwelling older adults (20 males and 27 females) aged 65–87 years ( M = 71.8 years, SD = 6.04 years) were randomized into supplement ( N = 33) and placebo groups ( N = 14) using simple randomization. The supplement group received 10 mg L + 2 mg Z daily for 12 months while the placebo group received a visually identical, inert placebo. L and Z were measured via retinal concentrations (macular pigment optical density or MPOD). Structural brain outcomes, focusing on global and frontal-temporal lobe regions, were acquired using both T1-weighted and DTI MRI sequences. We hypothesized that the supplement group would increase, maintain, or show attenuated loss in hypothesized regions-of-interest (ROIs) while the placebo group would show age-related declines in brain structural integrity over the course of the trial. While results showed age-related declines for frontal and temporal gray and white matter volumes, as well as fornix white matter microstructure across both groups, only minimal differences were found between the supplement and placebo groups. However, exploratory analyses showed that individuals who responded better to supplementation (i.e., showed greater increases in MPOD) showed less decline in global and prefrontal gray matter volume than supplement “nonresponders.” While results suggest that one year of L and Z supplementation may have limited effects on structural brain outcomes overall, there may be a subsample of individuals for whom supplementation of L and Z provides greater benefits. ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02023645.

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          Most cited references31

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          CONSORT 2010 statement: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomized trials.

          The CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement is used worldwide to improve the reporting of randomized, controlled trials. Schulz and colleagues describe the latest version, CONSORT 2010, which updates the reporting guideline based on new methodological evidence and accumulating experience.
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            Relationship between Serum and Brain Carotenoids, α-Tocopherol, and Retinol Concentrations and Cognitive Performance in the Oldest Old from the Georgia Centenarian Study

            Oxidative stress is involved in age-related cognitive decline. The dietary antioxidants, carotenoids, tocopherols, and vitamin A may play a role in the prevention or delay in cognitive decline. In this study, sera were obtained from 78 octogenarians and 220 centenarians from the Georgia Centenarian Study. Brain tissues were obtained from 47 centenarian decedents. Samples were analyzed for carotenoids, α-tocopherol, and retinol using HPLC. Analyte concentrations were compared with cognitive tests designed to evaluate global cognition, dementia, depression and cognitive domains (memory, processing speed, attention, and executive functioning). Serum lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene concentrations were most consistently related to better cognition (P < 0.05) in the whole population and in the centenarians. Only serum lutein was significantly related to better cognition in the octogenarians. In brain, lutein and β-carotene were related to cognition with lutein being consistently associated with a range of measures. There were fewer significant relationships for α-tocopherol and a negative relationship between brain retinol concentrations and delayed recognition. These findings suggest that the status of certain carotenoids in the old may reflect their cognitive function. The protective effect may not be related to an antioxidant effect given that α-tocopherol was less related to cognition than these carotenoids.
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              Mediterranean diet and brain structure in a multiethnic elderly cohort.

              To determine whether higher adherence to a Mediterranean-type diet (MeDi) is related with larger MRI-measured brain volume or cortical thickness.

                Author and article information

                J Aging Res
                J Aging Res
                Journal of Aging Research
                1 December 2019
                : 2019
                : 3709402
                1Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30605, USA
                2Institute of Gerontology, Department of Health Promotions and Behavior, College of Public Health, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30605, USA
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Carmela R. Balistreri

                Author information
                Copyright © 2019 Catherine M. Mewborn et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 27 July 2019
                : 29 October 2019
                Funded by: Abbott Nutrition
                Funded by: University of Georgia's Bio-Imaging Research Center
                Funded by: DSM Nutritional Products
                Research Article

                Molecular medicine
                Molecular medicine


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