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      Feasibility Study of a Docosahexaenoic Acid-Optimized Nutraceutical Formulation on the Macular Levels of Lutein in a Healthy Mediterranean Population


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          Introduction: Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) plays a pivotal role in maintaining macular structure and functioning. Research shows that daily consumption of lutein reduces the risk of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Objective: This study analyzes the influence of a supplementation containing lutein and antioxidant vitamins either with or without docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), with the main objective of identifying MPOD changes in both eyes at the end of the follow-up using the Visucam®retinograph. The secondary end point was to determine variation in the lutein and DHA levels in plasma and red blood cell membranes (RBCMs), respectively. Methods: One hundred healthy participants (200 eyes) aged 40–70 years (mean age 49.3 years, SEM = 13.7) were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive daily one of the following supplements for 3 months: lutein group (LT-G, n = 49) and lutein plus DHA group (LT/DHA-G, n = 51). The MPOD was measured at baseline and end of the follow-up by retinography (Visucam®retinograph). Lutein in plasma was determined by HPLC, and DHA in RBC membranes was analyzed by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer. Results: From baseline, MPOD showed significantly higher values in the LT/DHA-G than in the LT-G at the end of the study ( p < 0.0001). Significantly higher lutein in plasma ( p < 0.0001) and DHA ( p < 0.0001) levels in the RBC membrane were seen in the LT/DHA-G than in the LT-G at the 3-month follow-up. Conclusion: Lutein supplementation improves MPOD in healthy subjects from a Mediterranean population being significantly increased in the presence of DHA. Therefore, our findings highlight the relevance of the adjunctive role of DHA for better lutein availability.

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          Lutein + zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids for age-related macular degeneration: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) randomized clinical trial.

          Oral supplementation with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation (antioxidant vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc) has been shown to reduce the risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Observational data suggest that increased dietary intake of lutein + zeaxanthin (carotenoids), omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] + eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), or both might further reduce this risk. To determine whether adding lutein + zeaxanthin, DHA + EPA, or both to the AREDS formulation decreases the risk of developing advanced AMD and to evaluate the effect of eliminating beta carotene, lowering zinc doses, or both in the AREDS formulation. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), a multicenter, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled phase 3 study with a 2 × 2 factorial design, conducted in 2006-2012 and enrolling 4203 participants aged 50 to 85 years at risk for progression to advanced AMD with bilateral large drusen or large drusen in 1 eye and advanced AMD in the fellow eye. Participants were randomized to receive lutein (10 mg) + zeaxanthin (2 mg), DHA (350 mg) + EPA (650 mg), lutein + zeaxanthin and DHA + EPA, or placebo. All participants were also asked to take the original AREDS formulation or accept a secondary randomization to 4 variations of the AREDS formulation, including elimination of beta carotene, lowering of zinc dose, or both. Development of advanced AMD. The unit of analyses used was by eye. Median follow-up was 5 years, with 1940 study eyes (1608 participants) progressing to advanced AMD. Kaplan-Meier probabilities of progression to advanced AMD by 5 years were 31% (493 eyes [406 participants]) for placebo, 29% (468 eyes [399 participants]) for lutein + zeaxanthin, 31% (507 eyes [416 participants]) for DHA + EPA, and 30% (472 eyes [387 participants]) for lutein + zeaxanthin and DHA + EPA. Comparison with placebo in the primary analyses demonstrated no statistically significant reduction in progression to advanced AMD (hazard ratio [HR], 0.90 [98.7% CI, 0.76-1.07]; P = .12 for lutein + zeaxanthin; 0.97 [98.7% CI, 0.82-1.16]; P = .70 for DHA + EPA; 0.89 [98.7% CI, 0.75-1.06]; P = .10 for lutein + zeaxanthin and DHA + EPA). There was no apparent effect of beta carotene elimination or lower-dose zinc on progression to advanced AMD. More lung cancers were noted in the beta carotene vs no beta carotene group (23 [2.0%] vs 11 [0.9%], nominal P = .04), mostly in former smokers. Addition of lutein + zeaxanthin, DHA + EPA, or both to the AREDS formulation in primary analyses did not further reduce risk of progression to advanced AMD. However, because of potential increased incidence of lung cancer in former smokers, lutein + zeaxanthin could be an appropriate carotenoid substitute in the AREDS formulation. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00345176.
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            The Effect of Lutein on Eye and Extra-Eye Health

            Lutein is a carotenoid with reported anti-inflammatory properties. A large body of evidence shows that lutein has several beneficial effects, especially on eye health. In particular, lutein is known to improve or even prevent age-related macular disease which is the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment. Furthermore, many studies have reported that lutein may also have positive effects in different clinical conditions, thus ameliorating cognitive function, decreasing the risk of cancer, and improving measures of cardiovascular health. At present, the available data have been obtained from both observational studies investigating lutein intake with food, and a few intervention trials assessing the efficacy of lutein supplementation. In general, sustained lutein consumption, either through diet or supplementation, may contribute to reducing the burden of several chronic diseases. However, there are also conflicting data concerning lutein efficacy in inducing favorable effects on human health and there are no univocal data concerning the most appropriate dosage for daily lutein supplementation. Therefore, based on the most recent findings, this review will focus on lutein properties, dietary sources, usual intake, efficacy in human health, and toxicity.
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              Nutritional manipulation of primate retinas, III: Effects of lutein or zeaxanthin supplementation on adipose tissue and retina of xanthophyll-free monkeys.

              Macular pigment (MP) is composed of the xanthophylls lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) and may help to prevent age-related macular degeneration or retard its progression. In this study the effects of L or Z supplementation on carotenoid levels was examined in serum, adipose tissue, and retina in rhesus monkeys with no previous intake of xanthophylls. From birth to 7 to 16 years of age, 18 rhesus monkeys were fed semipurified diets containing all essential nutrients but no xanthophylls. Six were supplemented with pure L and 6 with pure Z at 3.9 micromol/kg per day for 24 to 101 weeks. At baseline and at 4- to 12-week intervals, carotenoids in adipose tissue were measured by HPLC. At study completion, carotenoids in serum and retina (central 4 mm, 8-mm annulus, and the periphery) were determined. Results were compared with data from control monkeys fed a standard laboratory diet. Monkeys fed xanthophyll-free diets had no L or Z in serum or tissues. After L or Z supplementation, serum and adipose tissue concentrations significantly increased in the supplemented groups. Both L and 3R,3'S-Z (RSZ or meso-Z, not present in the diet) were incorporated into retinas of monkeys supplemented with L, with RSZ present only in the macula (central 4 mm). All-trans Z, but no RSZ, accumulated in retinas of monkeys supplemented with Z. L is the precursor of RSZ, a major component of macular pigment. Xanthophyll-free monkeys can accumulate retinal xanthophylls and provide a valuable model for examining their uptake and conversion.

                Author and article information

                Ophthalmic Res
                Ophthalmic Research
                S. Karger AG
                December 2021
                16 June 2020
                : 64
                : 6
                : 1068-1076
                [_a] aOphthalmic Research Unit “Santiago Grisolía” FISABIO, and Cellular and Molecular Ophthalmobiology Group of the Department of Surgery at University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
                [_b] bSpanish Network of Cooperative Research in Ophthalmology (OFTARED), Carlos III Health Institute, Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, Madrid, Spain
                [_c] cFaculty of Health Sciences, Valencian International University, Valencia, Spain
                [_d] dDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine at the Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
                [_e] eDepartment of Ophthalmology, Hospital of Manises, Manises, Spain
                [_f] fInstitute of Ophthalmic Research “Ramón Castroviejo”, Complutensis University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
                509439 Ophthalmic Res 2021;64:1068–1076
                The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                : 12 February 2020
                : 15 June 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, Pages: 9
                Research Article

                Vision sciences,Ophthalmology & Optometry,Pathology
                Docosahexaenoic acid,Lutein,Ocular health,Macular pigment optical density


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