A recent cohort study reveals that high intakes of carotenoids, – lutein and zeaxanthin, together with alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin are associated with decreased risks of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

A total of 63443 women from Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 38603 men from Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) were follow up from 1984 until May 31st, 2010 and from 1986 until January 31st, 2010 respectively. The plasma carotenoid scores were predicted from food intakes and repeated food frequency questionnaires at baseline and follow-up. The validated regression model was used to determine the association of predicted plasma carotenoid scores and AMD.

An illustrated comparison of eye-sight between a person with normal vision and a person with age-related macular degeneration. (Pictures courtesy of Koyo.)
An illustrated comparison of eye-sight between a person with normal vision and a person with age-related macular degeneration. (Pictures courtesy of Koyo.)

Results show that the predicted plasma carotenoid scores for lutein and zeaxanthin demonstrated about 40% risk reduction, while that for α-carotene and β-carotene demonstrated 25% to 35% lower risks of developing advanced AMD.

Carotenoids such as α-carotene and β-carotene are potent antioxidants that reduce systemic oxidative stress which affects the macula indirectly. Therefore, a high dietary intake of carotenoids can protect macula from light-induced oxidative damage and free radicals production.

“Some carotenoids, particularly alpha- and beta-carotene are pro-vitamin A, are essential in preventing vitamin A deficiency / night blindness. This  large and over a decade study confirms that alpha- and beta-carotene play an important role in supporting eye health (AMD), when taking together with lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin,” says CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist at ExcelVite. “It is very interesting and encouraging, especially for those who would like to formulate a natural multi-carotenoids product or to reformulate their current Lutein/ Zeaxanthin product to include Alpha- and Beta-Carotene. ExcelVite’s EVTene™ natural palm mixed carotene complex is the only true mixed carotene in the market that provides the highest level of alpha-carotene,” added Lau. 

“EVTene™ is a potent natural mixed carotenoid complex, concentrated from the fruit of oil palm. It contains mainly α-carotene, β-carotene and a small amount of other carotenoids (such as γ-carotene, lycopene). What is unique is that EVTene™ carotenoid composition is similar to what is found in carrots. Hence, it is the only true natural alpha- and beta-carotene from a vegetable source / food that we eat,” said Bryan See, Regional Product Manager, ExcelVite. “Furthermore, EVTene™ has the highest percentage of α-carotene (approximately 35%) compared to other commercial carotenoid sources with negligible levels of α-carotene,” added See.

Source:

Wu, Juan et.al (2015). Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow up. JAMA Ophthalmology. Doi:10.1001/jamaopthalmolmol.2015.3590.

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