Lutein May Reverse Blindness

( [email protected] ) Apr 10, 2004 05:33 PM EDT

A new study has found that the antioxidant supplement lutein appears to reverse some symptoms of vision loss associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans.

The study found that while the supplement doesn't represent a cure for AMD, it does significantly improve patient scores on certain tests of visual function. During the 12-month study, 90 AMD patients were either given a 10 mg capsule of lutein or a placebo.

Found in leafy green vegetables

Lutein is a naturally occurring molecule, known as an antioxidant, found in dark-green leafy vegetables, including spinach, kale and collard greens. Past research has shown that lutein appears to filter out blue wavelength light from the sun and artificial light sources, suppressing the oxidation of retinal cells that could otherwise cause eye disease.

They stressed that larger studies were needed noting that one in eight Americans over age 60 suffers from AMD.

Lutein is believed to help prevent cancer. Doctors usually recommend 20 mg daily in capsule form, taken at mealtime.