Free Shipping with Auto-Delivery &
Savings up to 20% with a Package Plan
1 888 433 4726
Introduction Cataract incidence increases with age, reduces visual performance, and is responsible for about 30-50 million cases of blindness worldwide, according to the authors of a study published this month (1). Since oxidative damage is thought to play a role in initiating and promoting cataract, antioxidant nutrients may be of benefit by reducing oxidative stress in the lens. Observational studies have linked higher intake of vitamin E and lutein, as well as long-term vitamin C supplementation, with lower risk of cataracts (2-4).
Intervention trials with high-dose beta-carotene, along with vitamins C and E have produced mixed results (5,6). In contrast to beta-carotene, lutein and its isomer, zeaxanthin, are the only carotenoids detected in lens and macula. Therefore, an association between these carotenoids and cataract is biologically plausible. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of high-dose vitamin E and lutein in senile cataract.
In this double-blind trial, seventeen volunteers with mostly posterior subcapsular and nuclear opacities, were randomized to receive one of three treatments: a) 15 mg lutein capsule (as esters, equivalent to about 7 mg free lutein); b) 100 IU vitamin E capsule OR c) placebo capsule (corn oil). The supplements were taken three times weekly. Average supplementation time was 26 months (range of 12-36 months). Visual function, tested every three months, was measured with routine static (visual acuity) and several dynamic (glare sensitivity) clinical diagnostic tests. Visual acuity at baseline was within the same range for all groups, but placebo-treated subjects showed lower levels compared to subjects in the lutein group.
Compliance was greater than 80%. Some subjects dropped out during the 3-year study, mainly in the placebo group, to undergo cataract surgery. Therefore only data from the first 24 months were used for statistical analysis. Both visual acuity and glare sensitivity improved in the lutein group, with visual acuity significantly improved over baseline (p<.005). A trend toward maintenance of visual acuity was seen in the vitamin E group, while it tended to decrease in placebo takers. Clinical examination showed that cataracts did not progress in four of five patients in the lutein group, three of five in the vitamin E group, and one of five among placebo subjects.
Figure 1. Changes in visual acuity of patients with cataracts during the supplementation study (eyes were assessed individually). Lutein group (n = 9), a-tocopherol group (n = 10), and placebo group (n = 7). CI = confidence interval.
According to the researchers, this pilot study suggests that increasing lutein intake though lutein-rich foods or supplements improves the visual performance of patients with age-related cataract. Interesting, the serum levels of lutein achieved in this study were very close to those associated with substantial increases in macular pigment density seen in other trials. These results call for larger studies to confirm the benefits of lutein in patients with cataract.
Sign up to get nutrition news, health tips, and product updates.
Your information is never shared with third parties.
View Now >
Get $5 off your next order when you like our Facebook page
Innovative Nutraceuticals for Eye Health
This site chose VeriSign SSL
for secure e-commerce and
Call us Toll Free 1 888 433 4726. From Outside the US and Canada 281 885 7700
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.