Good eyesight is important for general wellbeing and also a significant factor in maintaining independence or quality of health as one ages. While age cannot be defied, prevention steps can be taken to reduce the risks of loss of eye vision to the minimal rate. One of the most common cause of vision impairment is age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the elderly.

Carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin are two oxygen-containing carotenoids that are found in high concentrations in the eye lens and the macular region of the retina. It is suggested that their major function is to protect against light or high-energy ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In fact, studies have been shown that not only high intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, but also mixed-carotene complex, particularly alpha-carotene, beta carotene, is inversely associated with AMD. Research on carotenoid and mitigation on AMD risks have been examined as follows:

Study Significant Findings Reference
Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow up α-carotene and β-carotene demonstrated 25% to 35% lower risks of developing advanced AMD

Plasma carotenoid scores for lutein and zeaxanthin demonstrated about 40% risk reduction

Wu, Juan et.al (2015). JAMA Ophthalmology

Reference:

  1. Wu, J., al (2015). Intakes of lutein, zeaxanthin, and other carotenoids and age-related macular degeneration during 2 decades of prospective follow-up. JAMA Ophthalmol; 133(12):1415-24. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.3590.