Effects of lutein and docosahexaenoic Acid supplementation on macular pigment optical density in a randomized controlled trial

Nutrients. 2013 Feb 15;5(2):543-51. doi: 10.3390/nu5020543.


We studied the macular pigment ocular density (MPOD) in patients with early age macular degeneration (AMD) before and 1 year after nutritional supplementation with lutein and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Forty-four patients with AMD were randomly divided into two groups that received placebo (n = 21) or a nutritional supplement (n = 23, 12 mg of lutein and 280 mg of DHA daily). Heterochromatic flicker photometry was used to determine the MPOD. At baseline, the MPOD in AMD patients with placebo was 0.286 ± 0.017 meanwhile in AMD patients with supplementation it was 0.291 ± 0.016. One year later, the mean MPOD had increased by 0.059 in the placebo group and by 0.162 in patients receiving lutein and DHA. This difference between groups was significant (p < 0.05). Lutein and DHA supplementation is effective in increasing the MPOD and may aid in prevention of age related macular degeneration.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lutein / administration & dosage*
  • Macula Lutea* / pathology
  • Macula Lutea* / physiopathology
  • Macular Degeneration / pathology
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Macular Degeneration / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Photometry
  • Placebos
  • Retinal Pigments
  • Visual Acuity


  • Placebos
  • Retinal Pigments
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Lutein