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Study 02: A One Year Study of the Macular Pigment

Landrum J, Bone R, Joa H, Kilburn M, et al.
A One Year Study of the Macular Pigment: The Effect of 140 Days of a Lutein Supplement.
1997 July:65(1):57-62

The yellow coloration of the macula lutea is attributable to the presence of macular pigment in the axons of its photoreceptors.1 In the 1980s several investigators demonstrated that macular pigment consists of the xanthophyll isomers, lutein and zeaxanthin.2 3 Although the role of the macular pigment remains uncertain, several functions have been hypothesised and these include reduction of the eVects of light scatter and chromatic aberration on visual performance,4 5 limitation of the damaging photo-oxidative eVects of blue light through its absorption,6–8 and protection against the adverse eVects of photochemical reactions because of the antioxidant properties of the carotenoids.9 10

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual loss in people over the age of 65 years in the Western world.11 Although the aetiopathogenesis of AMD remains a matter of debate, there is a growing body of evidence to indicate that oxidative damage plays a role.12–14 Consequently, the possibility that the absorption characteristics and antioxidant properties of macular pigment confer protection against AMD has been postulated.10 15 A proved protective eVect of macular pigment may be of therapeutic value, as it has recently been reported that human macular pigment can be augmented with dietary modification.16

In this article we review the current literature germane to macular pigment and AMD, and examine the evidence that retinal carotenoids are protective against AMD.

Historical background

The absorption of blue light by the macular pigment was first described in 1866 by Max Schultze who concluded: “Therefore, under an otherwise equal organisation, a retina without a yellow spot would see more blue light than one with such a spot”.17

He believed that absorption of the “most refractable violet” reduced chromatic aberration, but also hypothesised that macular pigment might provide some protection against the hazards of short wavelength visible light.17

In 1945 Wald demonstrated that macular pigment exhibited a characteristic carotenoid absorption spectrum, and concluded that this pigment belonged to the xanthophyll families found in green leaves.18 19 It was not until 1985, however, that preliminary identification of the hydroxy carotenoids was published.2 Using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), Bone et al suggested that the macular pigment consisted of lutein and zeaxanthin.2 The presence of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macula was confirmed by Handelman and coworkers in 1988.3 The identification of macular pigment, and analysis of its stereochemistry, was completed in 1993.20

The presence of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macula was confirmed by Handelman and coworkers in 1988.3 The identification of macular pigment, and analysis of its stereochemistry, was completed in 1993.20

Click here to read the full study.

Featured Products

Advanced AMD Support

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Powerful support for your macular to protect from degeneration. Promotes better sight in sunlight.*

Dry Eyes Hydro

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Powerful support for your macular to protect from degeneration. Promotes better sight in sunlight.*

Eyestrain Protect

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Powerful support for your macular to protect from degeneration. Promotes better sight in sunlight.*

Products Based on Science

Check the studies that back our claims, ingredients and formulation. Open and transparent. 

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Study 01 - Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes, serum and diet of human subjects.

study-04-progressive-study-1
Study 04: Measurement Of Ocular Blood Flow

Progress in measurement of ocular blood flow and relevance to our understanding of glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration

study-02-macular-pigment-study-350x204-1
Study 02: A One Year Study of the Macular Pigment

A One Year Study of the Macular Pigment: The Effect of 140 Days of a Lutein Supplement.

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Study 05: Macular Carotenoid Supplementation

Macular carotenoid supplementation in
subjects with atypical spatial profiles
of macular pigment.

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Study 03: Placebo-Controlled Study Of Zeaxanthin

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of zeaxanthin and visual function...

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Study 06: Supplementation With 3 Macular Carotenoids

Supplementation with all three
macular carotenoids: response,
stability, and safety.

About Us:

EyesightLabs™ provides premium nutritional supplements for your eyesight and health. We believe that supplements should benefit your health without negative side-effects. Learn more about the science that supports our formulas.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The information on the website doesn't constitute a doctor-patient relationship. It for educational purposes only. Be sure to consult your duly licensed
physician before taking any supplements. Consult your doctor regarding any interactions with your health problems.