What Effects Do The Antioxidants Lutein, Zeaxanthin, And Bilberry Fruit Have On Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

Dr. Miller answers the question: 'Can Antioxidants Cut AMD Risk?'

Aug. 24, 2009— -- Question: What effects do the antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, and billberry fruit have on age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?

Answer: We don't really know what any of the vitamins or minerals do to try to protect or prevent macular degeneration. There is a thought that antioxidants might be helpful, just like we've pursued in cancer, because antioxidants may reverse some of the damage that occurs naturally in exposure to oxygen and oxidative damage. So lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants that occur naturally, and there are studies looking at those supplements to treat age-related macular degeneration. There's a large study right now being supported by the National Eye Institute to investigate that question.

Bilberry fruit is another antioxidant that's been around for years and people often take. We don't know whether it's effective in preventing or treating macular degeneration at this point