A buttermilk drink containing egg yolks enriched with lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 DHA may help improve macular pigment optical density (MPOD), visual acuity, and plasma lutein concentration in older adults, according to researchers from The Netherlands.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial, recently published in Journal of Ophthalmology, investigated the eye-health benefits of MacuView, a dairy-drink product from Newtricious (Oirlo, The Netherlands).
Ninety-nine participants aged 50 years and older consumed either an 80 mL MacuView drink or placebo for one year, with MPOD, best corrected visual acuity, and dark adaptation measured at baseline, six months after the start of the study, and twelve months after the start of the study. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations, meanwhile, were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study.
Compared to the placebo group, the MacuView group experienced a significant improvement to MPOD, visual acuity, and plasma lutein concentrations. While there was a tendency toward dark adaptation rate increasing in the intervention group and decreasing in the placebo group, the difference between the two groups was not significant.
“This study further confirms that MacuView has a profound effect on eye health,” said Jos Nelissen, CEO, Newtricious. “We’re pleased these results demonstrate that MacuView improves macular pigment optical density and sharpness of vision contribution to healthy vision.”
MacuView is available as both a water-dissolvable powder and in a ready-to-drink format. This is the fourth clinical study on MacuView’s eye-health benefits, with a fifth ongoing clinical study currently underway, according to Newtricious. A separate study is also looking into the product’s cognitive-health benefits, with results expected later this year.
All study participants were healthy adults with regular signs of aging in the eyes, as evidenced by drusen and/or retinal pigment epithelium alterations in at least one eye. The 80-mL MacuView dairy drink contained an average of 1.38 mg of lutein, 0.21 mg of zeaxanthin, and 160 mg of omega-3 DHA. The control group received a similar buttermilk drink that did not contain the added egg yolk, lutein, zeaxanthin, or DHA.
In the MacuView group, plasma lutein concentrations increased significantly from 205 ng/mL at baseline to 399 ng/mL at the end of the study—a 94% increase. During the same period, MPOD increased significantly from 0.45 to 0.52 in the experimental group, while visual acuity improved significantly from -0.04 to -0.09 LogMar.
“Dairy consumption of a dairy drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks for one year improves visual acuity, MPOD, and plasma lutein concentration in elderly subjects with drusen and/or retinal pigment epithelial abnormalities,” researchers concluded.
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van der Made SM et al., “Increased macular pigment optical density and visual acuity following consumption of a buttermilk drink containing lutein-enriched egg yolks: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial,” Journal of Ophthalmology. Published online March 14, 2016.