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Lutein and Zeaxanthin Found Superior to Beta-Carotene for Eye Health

A new analysis of the results of the Age-Related Eye Disease studies (AREDS and AREDS2) has found that lutein and zeaxanthin may provide superior eye health benefits compared to beta-carotene.

The original AREDS looked at the effect of a daily dietary supplement containing 500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E, 2 mg copper, 80 mg zinc, and 15 mg beta-carotene. The supplement was found to help reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but it increased the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

In the second study, AREDS2, beta-carotene was replaced by lutein and zeaxanthin in the dietary supplement. Participants who received the supplement containing lutein and zeaxanthin saw an additional 20% reduced risk of progression to late AMD compared to those who received the supplement containing beta-carotene.

In addition, participants who received the lutein/zeaxanthin containing supplement saw no increased risk of lung cancer.

The study was conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health. It was published online ahead of print on June 2, 2022 in the journal JAMA Opthamology.

A previous study found that lutein and zeaxanthin may provide cognitive health benefits.

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