[PHNUTR-L] Nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin associated with reduced
risk for age-related eye disease
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Sun Sep 16 07:24:17 PDT 2007
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Public release date: 10-Sep-2007
Contact: Traci E. Clemons, Ph.D.
JAMA and Archives Journals
Nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin associated with reduced risk for
age-related eye disease
Consuming higher levels of the yellow plant pigments lutein and
zeaxanthin may be associated with a lower risk for age-related macular
degeneration, according to a report in the September issue of Archives
of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the macula, the area
at the back of the retina that produces the sharpest vision,
deteriorates over time. It is a leading cause of irreversible blindness
among elderly people of European descent, according to background
information in the article.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group assessed 4,519
individuals who were age 60 to 80 when they enrolled in 1992 through
1998. At that time, photographs were taken of their retinas to determine
if they had AMD, and if so, to which of four stages the condition had
progressed. The participants also completed a food frequency
questionnaire that measured how often they consumed foods rich in
certain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. These included lutein,
zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamins C and E.
The participants were divided into five groups based on the amount of
each nutrient they consumed. Those who had the highest levels of lutein
and zeaxanthin were significantly less likely than those in the group
with the lowest levels to have advanced AMD. They were also less likely
to have large or numerous intermediate drusen, yellow or white deposits
on the retina or optic nerve head that are a sign of AMD. No
associations were seen with any of the other nutrients.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, also called carotenoids and found in yellow and
dark leafy vegetables, may affect processes through which light and
oxygen damage the eyes, the authors note. “Lutein and zeaxanthin have
the capacity to filter short-wavelength light associated both with
photochemical damage and the generation of reactive oxygen species that
attack cellular lipids, proteins and nuclear material; these carotenoids
also have the capacity to reduce the potency of nascent reactive oxygen
species,” which damage cells, they write.
“If these cross-sectional results can be confirmed in prospective
samples and experimental studies, lutein and zeaxanthin may be
considered as useful agents in food or supplement-based interventions
designed to reduce the risk of AMD,” the authors conclude.
(Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125(9):1225-1232. Available pre-embargo to the
media at www.jamamedia.org.)
Editor’s Note: This study was supported by contracts from the National
Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and
Human Services, Bethesda, Md., with additional support from Bausch and
Lomb, Rochester, N.Y. Please see the article for additional information,
including other authors, author contributions and affiliations,
financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
For more information, contact JAMA/Archives Media Relations at
312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations at jama-archives.org.
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
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