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The rationale and evidence base for a protective role of macular pigment in age-related maculopathy


Age-related maculopathy (ARM) remains the most common cause of blind registration in people aged 50 years or over in the developed world, and its prevalence continues to rise. Although effective new treatments have become available in the recent past, these are expensive and cumbersome to the healthcare provider and to the patient, and many cases remain resistant to such therapy. There is a biologically plausible rationale whereby macular pigment, which is entirely of dietary origin, may prevent or delay the onset, or ameliorate the clinical course, of ARM. In this article, we review this rationale, and critically appraise the current evidence base germane to the use of supplements containing the macular carotenoids in patients with, or at risk of developing, ARM.

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