and Lutein are the only two carotinoids
found in the retina of the eye. Scientific
research has shown that supplementation
with these carotinoids can increase macular
pigment density, thus providing natural
protection against macular degeneration.
The amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in
the eye is referred to as macular pigment
density. People with the highest risk
of AMD, that is the elderly, women, smokers
and people with light iris colours, also
tend to have low macular pigment density.
Macular pigment density can be increased
by dietary means. Such evidence provides
an indirect link between dietary intake
of zeaxanthin and lutein, macular pigment
density and AMD risk.
macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading
cause of legal blindness among the elderly
in developed countries and a leading cause
of vision impairment in general.
Some surveys estimate that approximately
10 million Americans show early signs of
this disease and 450,000 or more may already
have significant vision loss from late-stage
AMD. Macular Degeneration is an epidemic
among those over 55 and the baby boom generation
will soon fall victim to this disease.
The risk of AMD increases with age and
women may be at a higher risk than men.
AMD is an incurable condition. Both the
severity and irreversibility of AMD have
prompted a search for ways to prevent or
slow down its progression.