It suggests that supplementation with these carotenoids could halt disease progression, the researchers say.
The study involved 108 patients, aged between 50 and 79 years, with early AMD.
Participants were randomly assigned to receive lutein 10mg per day, lutein 20mg per day, lutein 10mg per day plus zeaxanthin 10mg per day, or placebo for 48 weeks.
Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) increased significantly in the 20mg lutein group and in the lutein and zeaxanthin group. Furthermore, the changes in MPOD from baseline to 48 weeks correlated negatively with baseline MPOD in all treatment groups.
The researchers conclude that further studies are needed to evaluate the effect of these carotenoids on the incidence of late AMD.