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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, October, 2011, Vol. 52,

doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-8025


Purpose This study was designed to investigate serum and macular response, and safety, to supplementation with meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z), the carotenoids that constitute macular pigment (MP).

Materials and Methods 44 healthy subjects were recruited into this randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Subjects consumed one tablet per day containing 10.6 mg MZ, 5.9 mg L and 1.2 mg Z (Intervention, I group) or placebo (P group). The spatial profile of MP optical density (MPOD) was measured using heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP), and serum concentrations of L and Z were quantified using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Subjects were assessed at baseline, three and six months. Clinical pathology analysis was performed at baseline and six months.

Results Serum concentrations of L and Z increased significantly in the I group (p = 0.001 and 0.003, respectively) and remained stable in the P group (p > 0.05). There was a significant increase in central MPOD in the I group (0.25°: p = 0.001; 0.5: p = 0.001), with no significant change in the P group (p > 0.05). Clinical pathology analysis confirmed that all variables remained within the normal reference range, with the exception of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL), which exhibited baseline values outside the accepted normal reference range prior to supplementation.

Conclusion Subjects supplemented with MZ, L and Z exhibit significant increases in serum concentrations of these carotenoids, and a subsequent increase in central MPOD. Pathology analysis suggests no adverse clinical implications of consuming these carotenoids.



Supported by Macuvision Europe; Macuhealth, Macuhealth, Canada; and the Howard Foundation, which supported the clinical analysis component of the study.

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