Lycopene (1995) & Macular Degeneration

Learn more about macular degeneration recommendations.

Researchers investigated the potential connection between tocopherols and carotenoids level in blood serum and incidence of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) by viewing and grading photographs of the retina.

The subjects had retinal pigment abnormalities including soft drusen, late ARMD or neovascular and exudative macular degeneration) and were paired with controls (matched for age, sex, and whether or not they smoked) without evidence of these conditions.

Average levels of various carotenoids were similar in cases and controls. Average levels of vitamin E were lower in people with exudative macular degeneration. But once the difference was controlled for cholesterol levels, the difference was not significant.

What was significant was that researchers found that where they found low (lowest 1/4 of subjects) lycopene levels the subjects were twice as likely to have macular degeneration.

They concluded that low levels of lycopene were related to ARMD.

Researchers: Julie A. Mares-Perlman, et al
Published: Archives of Ophthalmology, December, 1995

Editor's Note: Consumption of high levels of lutein and lycopene has also been associated with lower cancer rates for lung and prostate cancer.