Leutin and Zaxanthin Vitamins
This brings up another issue which is the beneficial effect of other carotenoids such as leutin and zeaxanthin, since ophthalmologists are now reluctant to use beta-carotene. A case-control study in the Netherlands found that the prevalence of age related macular degeneration in patients with low antioxidant intake and low lutein intake was twice that found in patients with high intake. Other epidemiologic studies showed that patients with low dietary intake of leutin and omega-3 fatty acids have an increased risk associated with age related macular degeneration. To look at the addition of these newer vitamins The National Eye Institute is conducting another study, AREDS II, to determine whether oral supplementation with leutin at 10mg/d and zeaxanthin at 2mg/d and/or omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA, docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] + eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] at a total of 1 g/d) will decrease the risk of progression to advanced age related macular degeneration. Again, the participants are divided into four groups. One group in the study will be assigned to placebo, one to leutin/zeaxanthin, one to omega-3 LCPUFA, and one to the combination of the two. AREDS II will include patients in AREDS Category 3 and 4 and the sample size will be approximately 4000 patients. Approximately half of the participants enrolled who choose to take the AREDS formulation will receive a new preparation without beta-carotene. This will help determine the benefit beta-carotene made in the formulation. In addition, the dose of zinc will be lowered by one half (40mg) in those who chose to take the AREDS formulation.