Document Type

Conference Paper


This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES, 3.2 CLINICAL MEDICINE, Ophthalmology, 3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES, Nutrition, Dietetics, Public and environmental health

Publication Details

Association for research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual conference 2010 Published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science


Purpose: At the macula, the carotenoids meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) are collectively referred to as macular pigment (MP). To date only one study has reported on MP augmentation following supplementation with MZ, L and Z. However, that study measured only one retinal location (0.75°) and may not have been able to detect changes, if any, at other degrees of retinal eccentricity. Our study was designed to investigate (in a double-blind, randomized placebo controlled fashion) changes in MP optical density (MPOD, including its entire spatial profile), and serum concentrations of the macular carotenoids in response to supplemental MZ, L and Z in healthy subjects. Methods: We recruited 44 healthy subjects for this study. 22 subjects were randomized to consume a formulation containing 10.6 mg of MZ, 5.9 mg of L and 1.2 mg of Z (Intervention [I] group), and 22 subjects consumed a placebo everyday over a six month period (Pleacebo [P]) group). At each study visit (Baseline [V1], 3 months [V2], and 6 months [V3]) the spatial profile of MPOD (i.e. at 0.25°, 0.5°, 1° and 1.75°) was measured using customised heterochromatic flicker photometry and a blood sample was collected to analyse serum concentrations of L and Z using high performance liquid chromatography. Results: The mean ± SD age of our subjects was 43.54 ± 12.2. There was a statistically significant increase in serum concentrations of L and Z (μmol/L) and MPOD at 0.25° and 0.5° retinal eccentricity at V2 and V3 in the I group (p 0.05, for all). Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with previous supplementation studies that have shown increases in serum concentrations of L and Z and MPOD following supplementation with the macular carotenoids. Interestingly, the greatest increase seen in this study was at the centre (0.25°) following supplementation with an MZ dominant formulation.