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Why take meso-zeaxanthin?

The release of the AREDS2 study results confirmed some important hopes for reducing AMD progression in those diagnosed already. Most importantly, that replacing potentially harmful beta carotene with carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin was as, or more effective with no negative side effects.


However the study has received some criticism for not including what many researchers consider to be the most beneficial carotenoid for macular health, meso-zeaxanthin. Meso-zeaxanthin makes up 30% of macular pigment and data shows it to be the most potent anti-oxidant in the macula.

eye macula

Carotenoids provide protection against macular degeneration.


It’s possible that AREDS2 didn’t include meso-zeaxanthin in the study as it’s not present in the diet and did not exist as a supplement prior to 1994. This is similar to the reasons lutein and zeaxanthin weren’t included in the first AREDS study in 1992 which was criticized at the time.


Why is Meso- zeaxanthin so important to treating AMD?  

Meso-zeaxanthin is the most powerful antioxidant of the three vital carotenoids, allowing greater blue light filtration as a damage preventing measure. Meso-zeaxanthin has also shown to reduce oxidation by directly quenching free radicals in the retina.


For many, natural enzyme conversion of lutein into meso-zeaxanthin simply does not create enough pigment density, in rare cases it creates none. AMD patients have 30% less Meso-Zeaxanthin and may not have the ability to produce the required amount. Free from the limits of natural enzyme conversion using meso-zeaxanthin in supplement form directly fortifies pigment density in the central macula without adverse side-effects.

Mesozeaxanthin Lutein Zeaxanthin chart Ahmed - Berstein

Data shows lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin are much more effective when combined.


 Meso- zeaxanthin as a supplement

Dr. John Nolan, a vision scientist and Fullbright postdoctoral fellow in the Medical College, Georgia, Department of Ophthalmology stated that ‘Given that MZ (meso-zeaxanthin)… is a stronger antioxidant than both lutein and zeaxanthin, its presence in a supplement will undoubtedly be of benefit for maintaining visual performance.’


Nutritional supplement during early stages of macular degeneration has proven to delay progression of the disease significantly and stop permanent loss of vision if administered in time.


Recomended AMD treatment.

AREDS 2 has demonstrated that the inclusion of macular carotenoids lowers the risk for progression of AMD in study participants, and that a supplement should not contain beta-carotene because of the risk of lung cancer. The presence of beta carotene also has shown to reduce bio-absorption of macular carotenoids. The observed benefit of supplemental macular carotenoids in AREDS 2 will be optimized using a formulation that contains lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin in proportions for optimal absorption into the blood stream.


About the author:SAMSUNG DIGIMAX 360

Dr. Anthony Hutchinson O.D. has practiced as an Optometrist in North San Diego County for 32 years and is the Chief Medical Officer of OcuScience Inc., a company that specializes in treating eye health through nutrition. You can learn more atwww.ocusci.com



Comment (1)

  • mma odds June 4, 2013 - 4:24 am Reply

    Hello , you are good writer, i love areds2study.com

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