S Mehkri, MB Thirumalesh, MV Krishnaiah, G Ashok, Dr. Krathish Bopanna
The fovea is a specialised part of the retina which accumulates macular carotenoids. Isomeric carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin with antioxidant properties are the principal components of macular pigment (MP) accounting for the yellowish colour of the macular area of the retina. MP blocks short wavelength (blue) light that would otherwise damage photoreceptors and pigment epithelial cells causing irreversible changes to the eye architecture. The concentration of MP peaks at the fovea and is visible on the inner and outer plexiform layers of the parafoveal area, thereby protecting retinal damage, which is measured through the relationship between CFT (central foveal thickness) and MPOD (macular pigment optical density). The objective of this clinical study was to assess the effect of Lutein and Zeaxanthin (Lute-gen®) supplementation, with and without natural mixed carotenoids on central foveal thickness, and its relationship with macular pigment optical density (MPOD) in healthy adult subjects. A total of 93 subjects were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel, three-arm study which was followed up for 180 days. Data obtained post the study period was subjected to advanced statistical analysis to determine the efficacy of Lutein and Zeaxanthin (Lute-gen®) with and without natural mixed carotenoids on central foveal thickness (CFT) and its relationship with MPOD to determine the physiological status of the eye health. Lutein and Zeaxanthin (Lute-gen®) supplementation, with natural mixed carotenoids (P=0.003) and without natural mixed carotenoids (P=0.012) showed statistically significant improvements in the CFT levels when compared to baseline. On the other hand, the placebo arm (P=0.11) did not show any significant change in CFT levels when CFT measurements were performed on both the eyes. Our study showed a significant positive correlation between MPOD and CFT suggesting MPOD is strongly correlated with CFT. These studies on the relationship between MPOD and CFT can contribute to a stronger understanding on the relationship between scavenging radicals and antioxidant activities of lutein, zeaxanthin and other mixed carotenoids on eye health.
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