A major, 2-year European Research Council-funded program involving over 100 people diagnosed with early stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has shown an improvement in vision when taking a dietary supplement of carotenoids. Those living with AMD would usually have been expected to experience a continued deterioration in their vision over the 2 years of the clinical trial. Instead, those receiving carotenoids showed a significant improvement across 24 out of 32 measures of vision.
Improvements in vision were particularly marked among those receiving all three carotenoids, lutein, meso-zeaxanthin, zeaxanthin and co-antioxidants (MacuHealthPLUS+) compared to those receiving only zeaxanthin, lutein and co-antioxidants (AREDS2). Of note, 34.8 % of trial participants on the MacuHealth plus formulation had what is deemed to be a clinically meaningful improvement in their vision after 24 months compared to 19.6% of patients on the AREDS2-like formulation. This result demonstrates the superiority of the formulation containing the central carotenoid meso-zeaxanthin. It is consistent with previous works highlighting the importance of meso-zeaxanthin to rebuild central dips in macular pigment in patients at risk of AMD and to improve visual performance.
Results from the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trial (CREST AMD) are published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS).