Effect of supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin on serum, macular pigmentation, and visual performance in patients with early age-related macular degeneration

Biomed Res Int. 2015:2015:564738. doi: 10.1155/2015/564738. Epub 2015 Mar 1.


Purpose: To compare the 2-year effect of multiple doses of lutein/zeaxanthin on serum, macular pigmentation, and visual performance on patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Methods: In this randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled trial, 112 early AMD patients randomly received either 10 mg lutein, 20 mg lutein, a combination of lutein (10 mg) and zeaxanthin (10 mg), or placebo daily for 2 years. Serum concentration of lutein/zeaxanthin, macular pigment optical density (MPOD), visual functions including best-spectacle corrected visual acuity (BCVA), contrast sensitivity (CS), flash recovery time (FRT), and vision-related quality of life (VFQ25) was quantified.

Results: Serum lutein concentration and MPOD significantly increased in all the active treatment groups. Supplementation with 20 mg lutein was the most effective in increasing MPOD and CS at 3 cycles/degree for the first 48 weeks. However, they both significantly increased to the same peak value following supplementation with either 10 mg or 20 mg lutein during the intervention. No statistical changes of BCVA or FRT were observed during the trial.

Conclusions: Long-term lutein supplementation could increase serum lutein concentration, MPOD, and visual sensitivities of early AMD patients. 10 mg lutein daily might be an advisable long-term dosage for early AMD treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Contrast Sensitivity / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lutein / administration & dosage*
  • Lutein / blood
  • Lutein / pharmacokinetics
  • Macular Degeneration / blood
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Macular Degeneration / pathology
  • Macular Pigment / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects
  • Zeaxanthins / administration & dosage*
  • Zeaxanthins / blood
  • Zeaxanthins / pharmacokinetics


  • Macular Pigment
  • Zeaxanthins
  • Lutein