A new long term trial has concluded that supplementation with lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin, 3 of the carotenoids, may improve visual performance in subjects who had normal vision at the start of the study. This trial was called the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST).
105 individuals with an average age of 48 equally split between men and women were divided into a supplementation and placebo groups. All participants had normal vision at the onset of the study. However, participants did have a lower than normal amount of macular pigment (MP) at the beginning of the study. The supplement group received a capsule containing 10 mg of lutein, 10 mg of meso-zeaxanthin and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily with food. The study lasted a year.
Changes in overall MP were measured and ranked against changes in contrast specificity which is a better measure of visual performance than visual acuity which is the usual standard used. In this CREST trial blood serum levels of all 3 of the carotenoids rose over time and peaked around the 6 month benchmark and then declined slightly after that time. The MP however showed a continual steady rise.
Researchers concluded that the results of this study show that these carotenoids could improve the visual quality of life for the average person.
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