Lutein Treatments Reverse Macular Degeneration?

A YouTube video (shown below) describes a product called “Pure Focus” which reports that the Lutein spray reverses macular degeneration.  The video appears to be a TV show in the United Kingdom and claims that Lutein, a “powerful antioxidant” performs wonders, helping eye sight improve even if people suffer from macular degeneration.

What is Lutein?

Lutein is an antioxidant carotenoid that is responsible for the yellow color in fruits and vegetables.  The largest concentration of Lutein is found in the dark and leafy green vegetables.

Lutein is present in the retina when we are born and it is concentrated for the most part in the macula.  This portion of the eye is responsible for central vision.  Lutein acts as an absorbant for blue light which along with ultraviolet light can damage a persons eyes.  While Lutein is present in the eye, the human body has no ability to produce the nutrient and therefore it must be replaced through the food we eat or through dietary supplements.

As we age, Lutein is depleted from our body.  Since Lutein is an important antioxidant for maintaining proper eye health, it has to be obtained through external sources.  Normally this would be through diet but as this video reports “Pure Focus” (now called New Focus), is injested under the tongue.  This causes 95 percent of the Lutein to be absorbed directly into the blood stream and subsequently the eye.

This video clearly states that Lutein can reverse the effects of macular degeneration.  Patients taking this supplement have been able to go outside and drive after using this Lutein compound.  The “doctor” in this video is quick to point out that “more research has to be done” and that this is not a drug, but a “herbal treatment”.  This “doctor” also states that while there are improvements to a patient’s sight, it “may not cure macular degeneration completely”, referring to the damage caused by macular degeneration.

In a study published in September 2007 by Paul SanGiavanni of the National Eye Institute, Maryland, it was it was indicated that Lutein and Zeazanthin protect against blindness (macular degeneration).  There was no evidence that this antioxidant Lutein, reversed the effect.  However, there was clear indication that Lutein could slow the progression of the disease and reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.  Lutein may be a preventative mechanism.

This fact was loosely stated in this YouTube video.

In all the research conducted to write this article the only treatment for macular degeneration which was shown to have any lasting effect of reversing the damage caused by the eye disease came from the newer anti-VEGF drugs such as Lucentis.  There has been no evidence found that indicates that Lutein will reverse the effects of macular degeneration.

Looking closer at this Pure Focus Lutein treatment, the company who released the video appears to be “Good Health Naturally”.  In searching for “Good Health Naturally” on the Internet, sevearl websites were discovered that were selling this product as well as several other “supplements”.  This YouTube video appears to be a well-crafted marketing video being used to promote the product “Pure Focus” and not Lutein in general.

Macular Degeneration Support Canada attempted to contact the individual listed in the video and the email bounced, indicating the user did not exist.  Fortunately another website in the chain of online stores gave another email for the same individual and an email was dispatched to ask for details about the research that indicated Lutein could reverse the effects of macular degeneration.

A reply from this person simply pointed to several other online retailers, all selling supplements such as Lutein, with several of the sites disguised as “informational” and “healthy living” type sites.  There was no evidence presented to support the claims that Pure Focus or Lutein reversed the effects of macular degeneration.

It is important for people diagnosed with macular degeneration seek professional medical advise.  Treatments such as Lutein or Pure Focus that report being able to reverse the effects of macular degeneration, the so-called “wonder cures” or the “natural treatments” are no substitute for well-informed and a well-planned regiment of drugs that have been clinically proven and authorized as treatments for this eye disease.

Your doctor will advise you the best course of treatment for your diagnosed condition as well as the follow-up care required.  Macular degeneration is a serious eye disease and one should not take it lightly.

The key to any successful treatment for macular degeneration is early detection, therefore it is imperative to visit your doctor for regular eye examinations.