Macular pigment and serum zeaxanthin levels with Goji berry supplement in early age-related macular degeneration
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Na Liu. Department of Ophthalmology, China Rehabilitation Research Center, Jiaomen North Road, Fengtai District, Beijing 100068, China.


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Supported by Special Foundation for Public Welfare Research of China (No.2013CZ-9).

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    AIM: To evaluate the efficacy of Goji berry supplementation on improving macular pigment, serum zeaxanthin levels and visual acuity in patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: A total of 114 patients (aged from 51 to 92y, mean age 69.53±8.41y) with early AMD were enrolled in our prospective, randomized controlled study. The included patients were assigned randomly to the Goji group (n=57) with 25 g of Goji berries supplementation per day for 90d and the control group (n=57) with their normal diet for 90d. Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was measured using heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP). The levels of serum lutein (L)/zeaxanthin (Z) were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). MPOD, serum L/Z levels and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were recorded at baseline and 90d. RESULTS: In the Goji group, there were no statistically significant differences in the serum L levels between the baseline (0.199±0.149 μmol/mL) and 90d (0.203±0.181 μmol/mL) (t=-0.186, P=0.850); however the serum Z levels were increased at 90d (0.101±0.087 μmol/mL) compared with those at the baseline (0.029±0.032 μmol/mL) (t=6.412, P<0.001). Patients treated with Goji berry for 90d showed an elevated MPOD (0.877±0.202 DU) from the baseline (0.731±0.205 DU) (t=-4.741, P=0.000). In contrast to the control group, the serum Z levels and MPOD were higher in the Goji group at 90d (both P<0.05). At 90d, patients with Goji berry supplementation had a relative decrease in BCVA (0.21±0.18 logMAR) compared with the baseline (0.27±0.20) (t=2.397, P=0.020). CONCLUSION: Overall, daily supplementation with Goji berry for 90d improves MPOD by increasing serum Z levels rather than serum L levels in early AMD patients. Goji berry may be an effective therapeutic intervention for preventing the progression of early AMD.

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Shang Li, Na Liu, Li Lin, et al. Macular pigment and serum zeaxanthin levels with Goji berry supplement in early age-related macular degeneration. Int J Ophthalmol, 2018,11(6):970-975

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  • Received:October 03,2017
  • Revised:February 05,2018
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  • Online: June 12,2018
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