Listed in Issue 290


NOLAN and COLLEAGUES, 1 Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, School of Health Science, Carriganore House, Waterford Institute of Technology, West Campus, Waterford, Ireland; 2 Age-related Care Unit, University Hospital Waterford, Waterford, Ireland; 3 Howard Foundation, Cambridge, UK set out to investigate the impact of supplemental xanthophyll carotenoids plus omega-3 fatty acids on disease progression in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD).


A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that enrichment of certain nutritional compounds in the brain may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD).


Three trial experiments were performed. In Trials 1 and 2 (performed on patients with AD over an 18-month period), 12 patients (AD status at baseline: 4 mild and 8 moderate) were supplemented with a xanthophyll carotenoid only formulation (Formulation 1; lutein:meso-zeaxanthin:zeaxanthin 10:10:2 mg/day) and 13 patients (AD status at baseline: 2 mild, 10 moderate, and 1 severe) were supplemented with a xanthophyll carotenoid and fish oil combination (Formulation 2; lutein:meso-zeaxanthin:zeaxanthin 10:10:2 mg/day plus 1 g/day of fish oil containing 430 mg docohexaenoic acid [DHA] and 90 mg eicopentaenoic acid [EPA]), respectively. In Trial 3, 15 subjects free of AD (the control group) were supplemented for 6 months with Formulation 1. Blood xanthophyll carotenoid response was measured in all trials by HPLC. Omega-3 fatty acids were profiled by direct infusion mass spectrometry.


Xanthophyll carotenoid concentration increases were significantly greater for Formulation 2 compared to Formulation 1 (p < 0.05), and progression of AD was less for this group (p = 0.003), with carers reporting functional benefits in memory, sight, and mood.


This preliminary report suggests positive outcomes for patients with AD who consumed a combination of xanthophyll carotenoids plus fish oil, but further study is required to confirm this important observation.


John M Nolan  1 , Riona Mulcahy  2 , Rebecca Power  1 , Rachel Moran  1 , Alan N Howard  3. Nutritional Intervention to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease: Potential Benefits of Xanthophyll Carotenoids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Combined J Alzheimers Dis.;64(2):367-378. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180160. 2018.



The above preliminary research suggests positive outcomes for patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) who consumed a combination of xanthophyll carotenoids plus fish oil but that further research was required to confirm this observation.

ICAN 2024 Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

top of the page