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  • Age-Related Eye Disease Study

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    The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was a clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health in the United States. The study was designed to investigate the natural history and risk factors of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, and evaluate the effects of high doses of antioxidants and zinc on the progression of the two conditions in those with AMD.The study followed 3640 individuals for an average of 6.3 years between 1992 and 2001. The researchers concluded that high levels of antioxidants and zinc can reduce some people's risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25 percent. Those that benefited from the dietary supplements included those with intermediate-stage AMD and those with advanced AMD in one eye only. The supplements had no significant effect on the development or progression of cataracts.

  • Lutein

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    Lutein (; from Latin luteus meaning "yellow") is a xanthophyll and one of 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids. Lutein is synthesized only by plants and like other xanthophylls is found in high quantities in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and yellow carrots. In green plants, xanthophylls act to modulate light energy and serve as non-photochemical quenching agents to deal with triplet chlorophyll (an excited form of chlorophyll), which is overproduced at very high light levels, during photosynthesis. See xanthophyll cycle for this topic. Lutein is obtained by animals by ingesting plants. In the human retina, lutein is absorbed from blood specifically into the macula lutea, although its precise role in the body is unknown. Lutein is also found in egg yolks and animal fats. Lutein is isomeric with zeaxanthin, differing only in the placement of one double bond. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be interconverted in the body through an intermediate called meso-zeaxanthin. The principal natural stereoisomer of lutein is (3R,3′R,6′R)-beta,epsilon-carotene-3,3′-diol. Lutein is a lipophilic molecule and is generally insoluble in water. The presence of the long chromophore of conjugated double bonds (polyene chain) provides the distinctive light-absorbing properties. The polyene chain is susceptible to oxidative degradation by light or heat and is chemically unstable in acids. Lutein is present in plants as fatty-acid esters, with one or two fatty acids bound to the two hydroxyl-groups. For this reason, saponification (de-esterfication) of lutein esters to yield free lutein may yield lutein in any ratio from 1:1 to 1:2 molar ratio with the saponifying fatty acid.

  • nan

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