Daily supplements of lutein may improve vision and help with tasks such as driving at night, say data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
The one-year study, performed by reaserachers from Shanghai Jiao-tong Universitiy in China, found that a daily dose of 20 milligrams of lutein was associated with significant increases in contrast and glare sensitivity.
They recruited 120 normal people who spent an average of 10 hours per day driving during the two years before the study started. The participants were randomized to receive either the lutein supplement or placebo for one year. The reserachers measured visual acuity, serum lutein concentrations, macular pigment optical density (MPOD), and visual performance at regular intervals during the study.
The lutein content of the supplement was certified by the State Food and Drug Administration of China.
Results showed that there was the lutein group trended towards improved visual acuity, but this did not reach significant differences.
On the other hand, both serum lutein levels and central MPOD increased significantly in the lutein group, while no such changes were recorded in the placebo group.
In addition, the researchers observed «significant increases in
contrast and glare sensitivity, especially in the mesopic condition».