• We evaluated the hypothesis that higher serum levels of micronutrients with antioxidant capabilities may be associated with a decreased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration by comparing serum levels of carotenoids, vitamins C and E, and selenium in 421 patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration and 615 controls. Subjects were classified by blood level of the micronutrient (low, medium, and high). Persons with carotenoid levels in the medium and high groups, compared with those in the low group, had markedly reduced risks of neovascular age-related macular degeneration, with levels of risk reduced to one half and one third, respectively. Although no statistically significant protective effect was found for vitamin C or E or selenium individually, an antioxidant index that combined all four micronutrient measurements showed statistically significant reductions of risk with increasing levels of the index. Although these results suggest that higher blood levels of micronutrients with antioxidant potential, in particular, carotenoids, may be associated with a decreased risk of the most visually disabling form of age-related macular degeneration, it would be premature to translate these findings into nutritional recommendations.
Antioxidant Status and Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(1):104-109. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090010108035