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Clin Ophthalmol. 2016 May 11;10:835-44. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S102798. eCollection 2016.

An exploratory study evaluating the effects of macular carotenoid supplementation in various retinal diseases.

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NIHR Clinical Research Facility, NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK.



The aim of this study was to assess the impact of daily oral supplementation with Macushield (10 mg/d meso-zeaxanthin, 10 mg/d lutein, and 2 mg/d zeaxanthin) on eye health in patients with retinal diseases by assessing the macular pigment (MP) profile, the visual function, and the quality of life.


Fifty-one patients with various retinal diseases were supplemented daily and followed up for 6 months. The MP optical density was measured using the customized heterochromatic flicker photometry and dual-wavelength autofluorescence. Visual function was evaluated by assessing the change in best corrected visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and glare sensitivity in mesopic and photopic conditions. Vision-related and general quality of life changes were determined using the National Eye Insititute- Visual Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI-VFQ-25) and EuroQoL-5 dimension questionnaires.


A statistically significant increase in the MP optical density was observed using the dual-wavelength autofluorescence (P=0.04) but not with the customized heterochromatic flicker photometry. Statistically significant (P<0.05) improvements in glare sensitivity in low and medium spatial frequencies were observed at 3 months and 6 months. Ceiling effects confounded other visual function tests and quality of life changes.


Supplementation with the three carotenoids enhances certain aspects of visual performance in retinal diseases.


age-related macular degeneration; central serous retinopathy; diabetes; macular pigment optical density

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